Research Computing - University of St Andrews

Report
Birgit Plietzsch, Research Computing Team Leader
&
Sarah Mechan, Research Computing Advisor
Research Computing Service
School of Biology away day, 12 September 2013
Contexts for the service
Vision
To provide innovative and advanced digital technologies and research
computing services of nationally and internationally recognised quality and
standards, which will facilitate research excellence at the University of St
Andrews.
(Research Computing Strategy, http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/itsupport/academic/research/about/strategy/ )
Internal
External
University, ICT, RC Strategies
Funder requirements
RDM Roadmap
Academic workflows that require openness,
transparency, (where necessary) longevity
The team
Dr Birgit Plietzsch
Research Computing
Team Leader
2003
Swithun Crowe
Applications Developer
(Research Computing)
2004
Sarah Mechan
Research Computing
Advisor
2013
Athos Georgiou
Applications Developer
(Research Computing)
2013
MA British and American Studies,
Business Studies and Russian
Martin Luther University HalleWittenberg, Germany
MA Philosophy
University of St Andrews
BSc Biotechnology
MSc Bioinformatics
PG Information Technology
University of Abertay Dundee
BSc Computer Science
BSc Maths
University of Louisiana at Monroe
Dr phil. British Cultural Studies
Martin Luther University HalleWittenberg, Germany
MSc Information Technology
Herriot Watt University
PG Statistics
Trinity College Dublin
MSc Computer Science
DePaul University, Chicago
RC service provision
Liaison
services
Advice
Development
services
Research
projects
Research
Research
Computing
Computing
Service
Infrastructure
projects
Liaison services
Bridging the gap between different cultures and mind sets:
•
•
•
•
research community and IT specialists in central services
different professional language, expectations and working practises
management of a research project usually requires a different, iterative
methodology than a corporate IT infrastructure project having a more clearly
pre-determined end point
Leveraging expertise within and external to the organisation (coordinate
‘specialists’)
Research projects
New project
Service perspective
(pre-)
application
stage
• Development of ideas
Technical requirements gathering (software, hardware, technical development and
data requirements)
• Planning the Research Computing Service
• Cost recovery
• Confirmation of requirements
Project
stage
Postproject
stage
•
•
•
•
Technical development work
Storage and backup
Enabling access & sharing
Training
• Hosting of research outcomes
 enabling access & sharing
 enabling use & re-use
• Technical maintenance
• [long-term preservation]
Research projects
Funder perspective
Quality of applications
• “This is an exceptionally well written proposal, setting out its
general goals with clarity. The applicant gives confidence at every
level, presenting few issues for thought or clarification. The digital
outcomes are well defined, and supported by relevant resources
and management. This is likely to produce a very successful
resource, with usefulness to scholars and the general public alike.”
Technical support / skill
available to the project
team
• “The IT people will be very important in this project, and I don't
know them, but certainly the on-line databases provided by St
Andrews which I have used are reliable both technically and
intellectually. It seems safe to assume, therefore, that this side of
things will also be successful.”
Institutional commitment
/ sustainability of project
outcomes
• “It is good to see the technical work being carried out in the
context of an institutional commitment to the digital humanities, as
evidenced by the University's Arts Research and Teaching Server
and the support of the university's Research Computing Team.”
Research projects
Our expertise
I am writing on behalf of the AHRC to thank you for your outstanding
contribution to the work of the Council over the past year. …
We continually monitor the contribution made by College members. This
is not only to maintain the quality standards of peer reviews, but also to
identify College Members who have made a particularly significant and
valuable contribution to our activities.
… [W]e feel that your contribution is worthy of special praise.
(Prof. Mark Llewellyn, AHRC Director of Research)
Research projects
Researcher perspective
“I can affirm without hesitation that the support that you
have provided at a range of levels has been by far the
most valuable that has been available to me.”
“I can’t tell you how grateful I am to you and Swithun for
your continued support for this project. In fact I was
thinking about it yesterday and really you have helped
make it a much better project.”
“I have found integrating images with text a very
stimulating process which is greatly helping the research
element of the project and my own traditional
publications (forcing me to think things through in order
to explain them clearly to the target audience!).”
Research projects:
Current involvement
Funded projects:
•
A Corpus of Scottish Medieval Parish Churches
– £487k, Art History, AHRC
•
The Islamisation of Anatolia, c.1100-1500
– €1.3m, History, ERC
•
Language-Philology-Culture: Arab Cultural Semantics in
Transition
– €1.5m, Modern Languages, ERC
•
Victorian Science Spectacular
– £28k, History, ARHC
•
Publishing the Philosophical Transactions: the social, cultural
and economic history of a learned journal, 1665-2015
– £800k, History, AHRC
•
Defining and Identifying Middle Eastern Christian
Communities in Europe
– £250k, International Relations, HERA
•
Scientists in Congregations
– £800k, Divinity, John Templeton Foundation
Formative Questions:
• Data Quality?
• Metadata standards?
• Long-term repository?
• Audience?
Research life cycle
Funder
Requirements
Responsibilities:
• Metadata
• Data Formats
• Data Cleaning
• Confidentiality
• Archiving
• Retrieval
Tools:
• Data Standards
• Masking
• Data Synthesis Agents
• Ethics Protocols
• Storage Protocols
System Triggers:
• Data Acquisition
• Restrictions
• Multiple Data Streams
• Collaborations
• Linkages to other Data
Life Cycles
Hypothesise
Data
Collection
Data Re-use
Data
Analysis &
Sharing
DATA
Electronic
Resources
Data
Publishing &
Archiving
Systematic
Storage of
Outcomes
Hartter et al. (2013) PLoS Biol 11(9): e1001634. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001634
Data
Processing
Data
Discovery
Systematic
Data
Storage
Innovative
ICT to enhance
Research
discovery
Any questions ?
[email protected]
Attribute University of St Andrews,
images on slides 5, 9 & 10: www.digitalbevaring.dk

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