Are you open yet?

We have recently had three enquiries about meeting funder expectations for data from researchers at UEL – one wanting to demonstrate institutional controls on the licenced use of NHS data and two writing Data Management Plans (DMP) for the first time. We have not set up our support service yet – though we have a name at least.our-logo And our colleagues in UEL’s research office (which is called Research and Development Services or ReDS for short) have been letting those writing bids about our work. Hence the contact from three researchers. In response we quickly created a DMP at UEL flyer- maybe we will need to refine it when we are properly established as a support service.

The first involved looking for policies other than the research data one – information security, our Code of Good Practice in Research, etc. These would reassure the NHS Trust owning the data that it would be managed well within UEL, and that the researcher would be held to account for any breaches.

The other two were for research councils (AHRC and MRC): for the first I read through the draft bid and Technical Plan and offered comments on improving the latter, while for the second I read through the draft bid and drafted a DMP using the DMPOnline tooldmp-online-logo. John and I then met with the researcher to tease out some of the detail, and the DMPonline document was reworked by the researcher for submission with the bid.  We will follow up with each researcher and ask how they found the service – even though we are not officially open for business!

And we are keen to find ways to share best practice in writing DMPs at UEL.


How did we do? Researcher Development Programme workshops in RDM

Myself and Stephen ran a two-hour workshop  called “Managing your research data” together with Sarah Jones from the DCC on 1st and 2nd of May.

The course was part of the Researcher Development Programme organised by Dr Caroline Dunmore in the Graduate School. Stephen blogged about the workshops here.

The following post collates the feedback forms from 24 respondents out of 32 attendees and we hope this is of use to others who may be thinking of offering similar workshops to research staff or students.

Researcher Developement Programme: RDM Workshop 2

Researcher Development Programme: RDM Workshop 2

The responses that we received on what was useful and/or enjoyable about the workshop were as follows:

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The joy of sharing: cataloguing and sharing data

Yesterday we met with our subject librarians to kick off Module 5 of supportDM, on cataloguing and sharing data. We were pleased to be joined by Monica Duke of the Digital Curation Centre, who led the workshop. Several commented favourably on Monica’s presentation so many thanks, Monica, for joining us in East London. Monica gave an overview presentation ahead of the online learning and homework task, covering these areas:

  • drivers for sharing dataMonica leading exercise module5 20130508
  • barriers to sharing data
  • data repositories
  • data discovery
  • data citation
  • data licensing

Monica also led an exercise, getting the participants to name barriers to sharing data and then to think about ways to overcome such barriers. Although some disciplines have a culture of sharing data, others don’t and some academics are reticent to share for a variety of reasons. It helps if those supporting and advising researchers can give positive reasons for data sharing, and know appropriate strategies to allay fears.

The Xerte online learning package and supporting material for Module 5 will be made available in a couple of weeks’ time at, along with those for Module 4.

We’re recruiting

our-logoUEL is serious about supporting its researchers in managing their research data. I blogged before that we have funding next academic year to build a support service and infrastructure, and now we have advertised a job too.

We are establishing a permanent Research Data Management Officer post, to work with me as Research Services Librarian in developing services and giving support to researchers, and curating data of long-term at UEL. The post is advertised here with a job description here, and these are the important points to note:

Closing Date:   Monday 20 May 2013
Interview Date:   Tuesday 18 June 2013
Start Date: Monday 5 August 2013

Salary:  £27,104 to £30,072 per annum inclusive of London Weighting

I am happy to answer informal enquiries – call me (Stephen Grace) on 020 8223 7858 or email me at s.grace [at] if you want to know more.

Overwhelmed: our first researcher workshops at UEL

John and I ran a two-hour workshop  called “Managing your research data” together with Sarah Jones from the DCC on Wednesday and Thursday this week.  Everyone who booked attended, and several others turned up as well – despite taking a few extra folders, I had to nip out to my desk and make up some more during a break in Thursday’s session.

The course was part of the Researcher Development Programme organised by Dr Caroline Dunmore in the Graduate School, who advertised it to all staff and research students in the weekly newsletter. John also emailed each Dean of School and Research Leader to ask them to encourage their researchers to sign up. This all happened within a week or so of the event and the turn-out (and feedback) suggests we have provided something of use. What did the workshop comprise?

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LIKE a lot: Introducing RDM to a wider audience

On Thursday 25 April I gave an evening talk about research data and universities to a strange-sounded organisation by the name of LIKE. I’m still unsure how to pronounce this acronym (similar to Nike I suppose) but it stands for London Information and Knowledge Exchange and according to their web page is a “community of Library, Information, Knowledge and Communication professionals. We meet monthly to share stories, learn and exchange knowledge in an informal and relaxed setting.” It’s a social gathering as well as a learning environment and as people pay to attend holds a captive audience which I was grateful for.

Velichka presenting on open data

Velichka presenting on open data

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