Data Management Planning at Edinburgh


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Presentation on developing DMP services at the University of Edinburgh. It outlines progress on the DMP objectives in the Edinburgh RDM roadmap and covers the findings from evaluating DMPonline. The talk was given at a HEIDS meeting in Edinburgh on 22nd April 2013.

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  • We have gathered a handful of example plans from ERI, have asked researchers about consultancy when reviewing DMPonline, and have run a one-to-one session with an Arts researcher. The data library has done more of this in the past. We have also worked with Mike Mineter who’s developing support in GeoSciences.
  • The main effort to date has been in evaluating DMPonline and making changes in light of recommendations.Major architectural change is underway. This is a big task, knocking delivery dates back a few months.
  • We initially contacted users registered with an Edinburgh email address, asking them about their experience of using the tool. We also ran focus groups, guided interviews. Usability testing was conducted with people who had no prior experience of using the tool.
  • People liked having an online tool and thought it functioned very well technically. Users particularly liked the ability to share plans to collaboratively write them. There’s been a lot of demand for institutional customisations and the broader community are positive about DCC work in this area and want to feed into future developments.The main issue faced was understanding the tool, particularly the mappings. Users found it difficult to know what the tool would do for them, how to start writing a plan, and felt the mappings sometimes led to questions being misinterpreted. Once researchers started writing plans they found it too detailed and a bit overwhelming. This also meant the output could be too long to submit to funders. There were some teething troubles with certain workflows and UI design too.Users are looking for the quickest, easiest way to write a DMP. They want to be presented with the bare minimum and lots of boilerplate text / examples to help write a plan.
  • He found the tool hard to use and overly complex, but conversely said it was high quality and powerful. Technically it functioned well, but he had reservations about come of the concepts behind the tool (i.e. the mappings).The respondent expected a more straight forward tool. He ended up calling the Research Office to send him examples of filled-in data plans, which he then reused/tweaked.
  • Although there are a number of major changes to make, we’ve simply fallen into a number of common pitfalls when designing software.There have been lots of demands for additional features as we’ve developed v1 - v3 and this can obscure the main function and make it hard for users to understand and navigate the tool.We’re going to strip back to basics to make DMPonline easier to use.
  • The major change is overhauling how the Checklist will be used in the tool. It will no longer be upfront and visible. We will ask funder / institutional questions directly rather than mapping these to DCC equivalents which were asked instead.
  • A lot of the background work needed has already been completed. The major task is now redeveloping the tool over the coming months.
  • We need to sit down as a group to determine what should be asked in DMPs at Edinburgh – do you want to know about data volumes, access needs, security etc.? Is there a desire to gather info to prepopulate the data register?We then need to develop custom guidance with IS staff so researchers are aware of available support and use it.When we roll out by School we will develop any additional guidance needed, collate further DMPs and probe more about the need for tailored support. Where there is demand for one-to-one consultations to write DMPs, we will explore whether this can this be met by within the School e.g. by local IT, lab technicians (example of Mike Mineter developing support in GeoSciences)
  • Data Management Planning at Edinburgh

    1. 1. Data Management Plans Implementing the Edinburgh RDM roadmap Sarah Jones Digital Curation Centre Twitter: sjDCC HEIDS meeting, 22nd April 2013, Edinburgh
    2. 2. Outline Significance of data management planning Progress on the Edinburgh roadmap - Tailored assistance - Customised DMPonline Next steps at Edinburgh
    3. 3. Research funders‟ data overview-funders-data-policies
    4. 4. What do research funders want? A brief plan submitted in grant applications, and in the case of NERC, a more detailed plan once funded 1-3 sides of A4 as attachment or a section in Je-S form Typically a prose statement covering suggested themes An outline of data management and sharing plans, justifying decisions and any limitations
    5. 5. Five common themes / questions1. Description of data to be collected / created (i.e. content, type, format, volume...)2. Standards / methodologies for data collection and management3. Ethics and Intellectual Property (highlight any restrictions e.g. embargoes, confidentiality issues)4. Plans for data sharing and access (i.e. how, when, to whom)5. Strategy for long-term preservation
    6. 6. Edinburgh policy requirements “All new research proposals must include research data management plans or protocols that explicitly address datacapture, management, integrity, confidentiality, rete ntion, sharing and publication.”
    7. 7. Benefits for researchersDeveloping DMPs can help researchers to: Make informed decisions to anticipate and avoid problems Avoid duplication, data loss and security breaches Develop procedures early on for consistency Ensure data are accurate, complete, reliable and secure Save time and effort to make their lives easier!
    8. 8. Benefits for the UniversityDMPs allow the University to find out: What volume of research data will be created How will researchers share data with collaborators Security requirements for sensitive data Whether additional support is needed so this can be costed into grant applications A description of the data to populate data registers?
    9. 9. DCC support via DMPonlineDMPonline is a web-based tool to help researchers write DMPs.- based on the DCC Checklist for a DMP- requirements are mapped to DCC questions Create a plan based on relevant funder / institutional templates... ...and then answer the questions using the guidance provided
    10. 10. Outline Significance of data management planning Progress on the Edinburgh roadmap - Tailored assistance - Customised DMPonline Next steps at Edinburgh
    11. 11. DMP objectives & deliverables1. Tailored DMP assistance for PIs submitting research proposals - Library of successful DMP examples - DMP „response team‟ if required2. Customise DMPonline for optimal UoE use - University branded DMPonline - Boilerplate text about IS services
    12. 12. Tailored assistance: activity Collect and analyse example DMPs from ERI Identity requirements for consultancy services Trial one-to-one DMP consultationsDesire for tailored support seems to be mainly in Arts &Humanities. Will test this further and collate moreexample DMPs as we roll out services by School.
    13. 13. Customise DMPonline: activity Evaluate DMPonline with researchers Make changes in light of recommendations Develop UoE customisation of DMPonlineMain activity has been the evaluation of DMPonline.Major changes have been requested and are underway.
    14. 14. Evaluating DMPonline: inputsWe have engaged researchers and research support staff, mostlyat Edinburgh but some feedback came from elsewhere. Tool analytics (i.e. statistics on DMPonline usage) Emails and discussions with „‟ users General email / blog comments (mostly from Jisc MRD) Focus groups - one at Edinburgh and one with Jisc MRD Guided interviews with researchers after using the tool Usability testing
    15. 15. User feedbackPOSITIVE COMMENTS CONCERNS RAISED Good to have an online tool  Difficulty understanding the tool and concept of mappings Technically well-coded  Too detailed and in-depth Liked „sharing‟ feature  Output too long to submit Demand for customisations  Issues with design & workflows Has provided an impetus Desire to feed into plans – what‟s the minimum you can DMPonline community actually get away with
    16. 16. Example interview feedbackQ: Pick five terms that describe your experience:  Hard to Use  Time-consuming  Complex  High Quality  Powerful to be honest I didnt actually make use of DMP online - after registering and determining that it was going to be more complicated than it was worth, I pursued an alternative means of putting together a data management plan
    17. 17. Main issues Checklist too long and has irrelevant questions Mappings cause confusion and misinterpretation Desire to ask own questions not use DCC ones Templates confusing – which to pick? Users want to see funder requirement in full first Not enough boilerplate text / examples
    18. 18. Common pitfalls in software design
    19. 19. Planned changes Shorten the DMP Checklist Overhaul how the Checklist is used in the tool (n.b. this is a major architectural change so redevelopment will take time) Reintroduce a wizard to help users select templates Summarise requirements prior to writing the DMP Revise registration, sharing & export workflows Add more boilerplate text and examples as guidance Make a number of interface / usability improvements
    20. 20. Progress on revising DMPonline Checklist reworked and taxonomy created Funder templates revised New process for institutional customisations proposed UI changes contracted out and underway Database redesign nearly complete Development plan in place – delivery of v4 expected in JuneCurrent status, March 2013: future plans, Jan 2013:
    21. 21. Outline Significance of data management planning Progress on the Edinburgh roadmap - Tailored assistance - Customised DMPonline Next steps at Edinburgh
    22. 22. Still to do Finish redeveloping DMPonline and test with users Define what questions need to be asked at Edinburgh Provide boilerplate text and links to Edinburgh RDM services Roll out by School, and in doing so: - Develop disciplinary / local guidance - Collate example DMPs to share with others - Check whether tailored support is required. If so, can this be embedded in School provision?
    23. 23. Any questions? Sarah Jones Digital Curation Centre Twitter: sjDCC