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Discussion Paper: Towards a Research Data Management Policy for [insert]Document Title                 Discussion Paper: T...
Discussion Paper: Towards a Research Data Management Policy for [insert]BACKGROUNDBy approving and publishing an instituti...
Discussion Paper: Towards a Research Data Management Policy for [insert]Why do we need an institutional RDM policy now?The...
Discussion Paper: Towards a Research Data Management Policy for [insert]the JISCMRD Programme Manager, recommended that th...
Discussion Paper: Towards a Research Data Management Policy for [insert]APPENDIX - EXAMPLE ASPIRATIONAL HIGH-LEVEL RDM POL...
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Research Data Management (RDM) discussion paper


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This discussion paper was drafted for the audience of members of RDM working groups and Research and Enterprise committee members.

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Research Data Management (RDM) discussion paper

  1. 1. Discussion Paper: Towards a Research Data Management Policy for [insert]Document Title Discussion Paper: Towards a Research Data Management (RDM) Policy for [insert]Author(s) & project role  Leigh Garrett, Kaptur Project Director  Marie-Therese Gramstadt, Kaptur Project Manager  Anne Spalding, Kaptur Project Officer  add names if contribution/amendments madeDate 20/03/2012 Filename RDM_discussion.docVersion Date Comments1 15th March 2012 Draft following JISCMRD event on RDM policies (12th and 13th March 2012).1.1 16th March 2012 Worked-up draft into new framework.1.2 20th March 2012 Amended following comments from Project Director.INTRODUCTIONLed by the Visual Arts Data Service, a Research Centre of the University for the Creative Arts, andworking collaboratively with four institutional partners: Glasgow School of Art; Goldsmiths, Universityof London; University for the Creative Arts; and University of the Arts London; KAPTUR1 (October2011 - March 2013) will discover, create and pilot a sectoral model of best practice in themanagement of research data in the arts.This discussion paper presents points that need to be considered when introducing a research datamanagement policy at [insert]. It invites comments on the following:  type of policy to be drafted  timescale to receive draft policy and to approveThe deadline for comments is: [insert]Written comments should be sent to:[insert name, job title, email address]1 Project website: Project blog:
  2. 2. Discussion Paper: Towards a Research Data Management Policy for [insert]BACKGROUNDBy approving and publishing an institutional research data management (RDM) policy [insert] willdemonstrate its commitment to the effective management of research data which is increasinglyrequired by many funding bodies.What is visual arts research data?Kaptur has undertaken qualitative research into the nature of visual arts research data; published in 2an Environmental Assessment report . The terminology "research data" was itself problematic duringthe interviews and required explanation; "talking about the process of creating work was the mosthelpful way to find out about visual arts research data"3. The report highlighted that visual artsresearchers do document and archive their work, but that this was not according to best practice; thiscould be described as situated rather than normative practice. Some subjects, such as Design,despite having "defined processes of creation"4 were still set in the "idiosyncratic" context of thestudio. Overall the report concluded that visual arts research data is "heterogeneous and infinite,complex and complicated"5.Why is the management of research data important?Research data enables the testing and validation of research outputs. The effective management ofresearch data valorises artistic research endeavour and supports researchers saving them time andeffort and mitigating the risk of loss of research data. Freedom of Information (FOI) requests can bemade for research data6. Many funders require Data Management Plans7 as part of the applicationprocess, there are also requirements for sharing research data8 and maintaining it in the longer term.For example the EPSRC require research data to be available for at least "[...] 10 years from the endof any researcher ‘privileged access’ or, if others have accessed the data, from last date on whichaccess to the data was requested by a third party."9.2 ibid. p.44 ibid. p.45 ibid. p.316 Guidance from JISC on FOI requests for research data: Funders Data Management Plan requirements: Research Councils UK (RCUK) Common Principles on Data Policy: DCC guidance on EPSRC requirements
  3. 3. Discussion Paper: Towards a Research Data Management Policy for [insert]Why do we need an institutional RDM policy now?The timeliness of the JISC funded Kaptur project became apparent with the announcement of theEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) expectations in May 2011 10. 11Institutions in receipt of funding are required to develop "a clear roadmap to align their policies andprocesses with EPSRC’s expectations by 1st May 2012 [their emphasis], and to be fully compliant 12with these expectations by 1st May 2015 [their emphasis]" The Kaptur project partners benefit from 13funding and support to create these policies whereas other institutions are bound to create a policyregardless. The RCUK have also announced a draft policy on access to research outputs (March 142012) with implications for the management of research data; this proposes: "The need for a statement on how underlying research materials can be accessed is currently in place for some, but not all of the Research Councils. As part of supporting the drive for openness and transparency in the research funded by the Research Councils, we are extending this policy to all Research Councils."This draft policy may be in force by "summer 2012".DIFFERENT TYPES OF POLICYThe Digital Curation Centre links to and raises awareness of institutional RDM policies at national andinternational fora and online. At time of writing there are four UK institutions with public RDMpolicies15. These institutions are continuing to develop their policies and work to implement them; twoinstitutions have received additional funding for this purpose16.Of the four policies, one is described more appropriately as a "Commitment to Research Data 17Management" and the University of Oxford have already drafted a policy document which willreplace this soon.University of Edinburgh produced the first RDM policy18 in the UK and this is described as a "high-level aspirational RDM policy". At the Kaptur Steering Group meeting (February 2012) Simon Hodson,10 EPSRC Expectations 3 of the 4 Kaptur partners reported that they are in receipt of EPSRC funding EPSRC roadmap A list of the other 16 projects funded in the same strand as Kaptur, with the objective to createinstitutional research data management policies and technical infrastructure, are listed at the bottomof this Web page: UK Institutional Data Policies University of Oxford - DaMaRO project and University of Hertfordshire- Research Data Toolkit project The Commitment to Research Data Management is available at the bottom of this page:
  4. 4. Discussion Paper: Towards a Research Data Management Policy for [insert]the JISCMRD Programme Manager, recommended that this would be the most suitable model forKaptur to build upon. This is also being used as the basis for several other policies across theJISCMRD programme.The University of Hertfordshire took a slightly different approach due to their circumstances andproduced an RDM policy as part of an existing suite of policies19.TIMESCALEThe original timescale in the Kaptur project plan proposed a draft policy by the end of July 2012 andapproval of this by the end of January 2013. This has been revised following discussion at theSteering Group meeting (February 2012); the Group suggested that draft policies could be presentedfor approval in autumn 2012.Each institution is already in the process of forming a working group to consider issues around thecreation and development of an RDM policy and the technical infrastructure.Following receipt of comments on this discussion paper an institutional RDM policy will be drafted.18 University of Edinburgh policy There is a useful blog post about this here (including a link to the policy itself):
  5. 5. Discussion Paper: Towards a Research Data Management Policy for [insert]APPENDIX - EXAMPLE ASPIRATIONAL HIGH-LEVEL RDM POLICYThe University of Edinburghs Research Data Management Policy consists of the following 10 keypoints (copied below). This is available online: an informative background document isalso available here: policy for managing research data was approved by the University Court on 16 May, 2011.The University adopts the following policy on Research Data Management. It is acknowledged thatthis is an aspirational policy, and that implementation will take some years. 1. Research data will be managed to the highest standards throughout the research data lifecycle as part of the University’s commitment to research excellence. 2. Responsibility for research data management through a sound research data management plan during any research project or programme lies primarily with Principal Investigators (PIs). 3. All new research proposals [from date of adoption] must include research data management plans or protocols that explicitly address data capture, management, integrity, confidentiality, retention, sharing and publication. 4. The University will provide training, support, advice and where appropriate guidelines and templates for the research data management and research data management plans. 5. The University will provide mechanisms and services for storage, backup, registration, deposit and retention of research data assets in support of current and future access, during and after completion of research projects. 6. Any data which is retained elsewhere, for example in an international data service or domain repository should be registered with the University. 7. Research data management plans must ensure that research data are available for access and re-use where appropriate and under appropriate safeguards. 8. The legitimate interests of the subjects of research data must be protected. 9. Research data of future historical interest, and all research data that represent records of the University, including data that substantiate research findings, will be offered and assessed for deposit and retention in an appropriate national or international data service or domain repository, or a University repository. 10. Exclusive rights to reuse or publish research data should not be handed over to commercial publishers or agents without retaining the rights to make the data openly available for re-use, unless this is a condition of funding.