Review of existing RDM training materials

Two workpackages (2 and 3) in TraD will produce an adapted data management course for professional doctorate/PhD students in Psychology, and new data management materials for Computer Science postgraduate students.

Magnifying glass

Our first task was made a lot easier by two factors. One, the expectation from JISC that funded projects make their outputs available for re-use and adaptation and secondly, there were already existing projects with excellent training materials for RDM in psychology (MANTRA and DMTPsych).

We reviewed both these training packages and have outlined our top three most valuable elements for reuse in the training of psychology research students in RDM at UEL.

Top 3 for Psychology

1.    Mantra

An excellent online course that makes full use of multimedia materials such as video, images, flowcharts as well as learning technology methodologies in the form of quizzes within modules, drag and drop (words into phrases), questions from scenarios, drag and drop of words to fit tables (for example, a data management plan). The modules also have an excellent “further reading” element at the end of each module.

2.    MANTRA – Data Handling

A useful teaching module on Data Handling using the statistical analysis software SPSS 18 (aka PASW 18) which is commonly used in Psychology and Social Sciences.

3.    DMTpsych

A six-part lecture series on Data Management Planning in Psychology with copious slides full of excellent material and images. This certainly provides us with an option to pick and mix from each lecture to fit our own training materials. Accompanying the Powerpoint presentations are slide-by-slide feedback from students on the course which means we have an excellent opportunity for tweaking and working on ideas for training at UEL.

We will also be looking into using the comprehensive guidance booklet (136 pages!) entitled: Guidance Notes for Completing a “Checklist for a Data Management Plan v3.0” For Researchers in the Psychological Sciences”.

Our second task as part of workpackage 3 was to review all other existing RDM training materials for ideas related to creating a training course for Computer Science students. In total we reviewed 19 JISC-funded projects that contained elements of RDM training and to which we could use for our own training modules. Read on for our Top 5 finds.

 Top 5 Finds

 1.    Datum in ActionThe fact that Northumbria’s School of Computing, Engineering and Information Sciences (SCEIS) was included could provide relevant examples for our CS data management. The thorough and Records Manager-authored “Folders and Files – Guidance” is a very good document.

2.    PrePARe – “What is Data?” gives an excellent and succinct presentation with good images which are worth re-using. The ‘Store It Safely’ slide we also thought to be a good punchy slide with lots of relevant images and Explain It, Share It, Start Early. Probably the least driest presentation on RDM. A script alongside the presentations:

 3.    Digital Curation Centre’s Curation Checklist

The Curation Checklist is very succinct – a table of

  • Checklist for conceptualisation
  • Checklist for create and/or receive
  • Checklist for appraise and select
  • Checklist for ingest and store
  • Checklist for preservation action
  • Checklist for access and reuse

4.    Research360

Doctoral Training Centres as catalysts for research data management

The workshops and presentations detailing the training of doctoral students at Bath have been very useful in finding out what aspects of the training has worked well and what has worked less well.

5.    Incremental

Cambridge and Glasgow in their joint project gave lots of good links covering external links as well as newly-produced factsheets, some examples:

Incremental also offers Factsheets and Tables on the following topics:

  • Organising Files: developing an electronic filing system PDF / PowerPoint
  • Document Properties: adding information to your Microsoft Office documents PDF / PowerPoint
  • Selecting Data: what to keep, what to bin, why bother? PDF / PowerPoint
  • How do I keep track of my files with all of these devices? PDF / Word Doc
  • Common Image Formats: what to use when PDF / PowerPoint
  • UK Funding Councils: data retention and access policies  PDFPowerPoint

As you can imagine, the review process of all existing training materials has been time consuming. We thought it would be useful to others embarking upon a similar process to share what resources we found and our thoughts on each of them.

If you have used any of these resources, or want to recommend others, please feel free to add your comments to this post.


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