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Building an RDM culture at UEL
Stephen Grace and John Murtagh
University of East London
UEL has an institutional RDM policy, and is working on a roadmap to develop its
support service and infrastructure. TraD is building capacity and competence for the
training aspect of our roadmap, and already offering creative opportunities to
advance the other components.
TraD aims to embed good RDM practice at the University of East London (UEL)
through training activities aimed at specific audiences:
Professional Doctorate students in Psychology
Taught MSc students in Geoinformatics (Computer Science)
Researchers as part of Graduate School training programme
Academic liaison librarians
The Psychology course would reuse existing material developed by other Jisc-funded
projects, while a new course would be devised in Geoinformatics. Creative use of
existing Digital Curation Centre (DCC) resources would feed into an existing
programme of researcher development training. A new course would be devised and
run for subject-specialist librarians in academic liaison roles.
Building relations and rapport with academic colleagues in Psychology,
Geoinformatics and the Graduate School. This will help us engage with other
academics in the future.
Undertaking a staff/student survey on RDM has provided an evidence base for
engaging with central services.
Delivering a training strand reinforces the Library’s leadership of RDM matters at
UEL. Conversations with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Director of IT have helped
to establish the importance of RDM to UEL, and moved the roadmap beyond a
written policy. Widening the engagement with research office staff will help to
clarify support roles in the future.
The University’s annual research conference in June 2013 will be targeted to present
the outputs and outcomes of TraD for further engagement with other academic
LLS is actively seeking to establish the RDM Officer post beyond the project lifetime,
to join the Research Services Librarian in running the core RDM support service.
A presentation on RDM will be given to the Research And Knowledge Exchange
Committee meeting in June 2013.
We used the interactive learning materials software Xerte as novices without any
support to call upon at UEL.
UEL is underway with migrating from one VLE to another (Blackboard to Moodle), so
students were not familiar with the Moodle virtual learning environment.
It takes time to programme RDM training into existing courses – for instance, it would
have been best to incorporate RDM into the research methods module which
Psychology students undertake in their first semester.
Running courses for support staff should avoid busy times of the year. A blended
learning approach will help to reinforce knowledge acquisition with skills gained
through practice.
The Research Data Management for Psychology course reuses five Xerte –created
modules developed by the University of Edinburgh’s MANTRA project (1) Research
Data Explained, 2) Organising Data, 3) Documentation and Metadata, 4) Storage and
Security and 5) Data Protection, Rights & Access. Two groups of profdoc students in
clinical and educational psychology undertook the course delivered via the brand
new VLE at UEL (Moodle, in the process of replacing Blackboard). A concluding
seminar will capture students’ feedback, and staff will review the course for
inclusion in curricula.
A new course in Geoinformatics is being developed in close collaboration with the
Centre for Geo-Information Studies. Its distinctive approach will be tailored to
students who gather existing data sources (mostly public data) for analysis with a
geographical component. The course will make use of Moodle (VLE) technology.
A two-hour workshop in good RDM practice will be run for research students and
early career researchers as part of the Graduate School’s Researcher Development
Programme in late April 2013. Feedback from the students will help LLS to offer more
tailored but generic training appropriate to the different Schools at UEL.
The supportDM course is aimed at those involved – or likely to be involved – in
running support services. Five meetings and online learning modules will introduce
subject librarians to the range of skills and activities required in RDM support: 1)
Introducing RDM, 2) Guidance and Support for Researchers, 3) Data Management
Plans, 4) What to Keep and Why, and 5) Cataloguing and Sharing Data.
Stephen Grace, Research Services Librarian, [email protected]
John Murtagh, Research Data Management Officer, [email protected]
TraD is a project funded under Jisc’s Managing Research Data programme. It is led by
Libraries and Learning Services at the University of East London, with academic
colleagues in the School of Psychology and the Centre for Geo-Information Studies. It
has the active participation of the Digital Curation Centre.

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