Fun with LARD

Friday afternoon saw the inaugural meeting of LARD, the London Area Research Data group for those involved in RDM services. LARD aims to be a practical and supportive environment for sharing news and views with colleagues at other institutions, and the meeting certainly delivered on that. Kindly hosted by King’s College London, people came from across London (and even farther afield): East London, Goldsmiths, Imperial, King’s College, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, LSE, Middlesex, NatCen Social Research, Queen Mary, Reading, Royal Holloway, Royal Veterinary College and University of London Computer Centre

We all shared what we have been up to in our respective institutions, and it was interesting to hear how quite different approaches have been taken to supporting researchers. A few things I’ve taken from the meeting:

Go to where researchers are to talk to them about RDM

Institutional funds for examples of good practice

Access to training and information at different points of research lifecyle

Not just formal workshops, but bite-sized resources too

Standard guidance texts to help draft DMPs

Ask Research Offices to notify of successful awards for RDM support

Lowlander Grand Cafe

Lowlander Grand Cafe, copyright image by Ewan Munro CC BY-SA 2.0

Gareth Knight led us on a SWOT analysis of our respective RDM offers, to help us think about what we might want from LARD. We agreed to meet again in the autumn, with a special focus on data repositories. We’d just about dried off from the downpour which struck as people arrived by the time we adjourned for the liquid meet along the street at Lowlander Grand Café.

DataCite client meeting

Yesterday at the British Library, as one of 15 new members since the last meeting of DataCite clients managed by BL. 20140722_114350_resizedWe heard from Cambridge Crystallography Data Centre, which applied over 500,000 new DOIs to existing CIF crystal structure files in short order! And the ODIN project – a collaboration between ORCID and DataCite – has developed tools to make it easier to relate researchers and data. We will look at maximising the interaction in our new data repository once we are up and running. STFC assigns DOIS to the software it produces (the product, and each version and each release) to make citation easier, and there was discussion about the value of assigning DOIs to grey literature: good to remind everyone that not all data is a) structured b) numerical. We will look to assign DOIs to appropriate material in ROAR where UEL is the publisher, such as the working papers that various UEL research centres produce.

One issue to consider is where in a workflow a DOI is created and minted – before or after publication? I can see that authors would find it useful to know a DOI ahead of time to incorporate it into their texts, but this has to be mediated by our repository software which controls the coining/minting of DOIs. One to explore.

Overall, it was a very worthwhile meeting, with a chance to hear from other institutions applying DOIs to their research data. And the bottle? A reminder of the “Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK” exhibition, showing at the British Library until 19 August.