Research Data Management Forresterhill Session

because good research needs good data
Research Data Management for
University of Aberdeen 7th October 2014
Jonathan Rans
Digital Curation Centre
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 UK: Scotland License.
What will we cover?
1. Definitions that we work to
2. What does the EPSRC expect of you and your
3. How can these requirements be satisfied and
how are other institutions addressing them?
Who we are
(Est. 2004) is:
» A national-level centre of expertise in digital
preservation with a particular focus on Research
Data Management (RDM)
» Based across three sites – Edinburgh, Glasgow
and Bath
» Working closely with a number of UK institutions
to boost RDM capability across the HE sector
» Also involved in a variety of national and
international collaborations
Definition of research data
Data are representations of
observations, objects, or other entities
used as evidence of phenomena for the
purposes of research or scholarship
C.L. Borgman (2015). Big Data, Little Data, No Data: Scholarship in the
Networked World. MIT Press
So, what might this include?
Anything & everything
produced in the course of
Data management expectations
“Data arising from MRC-funded
research must be properly curated
throughout its life-cycle…”
What is research data management?
Research data management is an explicit
process covering the creation and stewardship
of research materials to enable their use for as
long as they retain value.
- A. Whyte and J. Rans DCC
DCC lifecycle model
A simplified data lifecycle
Data Management Planning
Discover and
Deposit and Publication Deposit
Discovery and Reuse
RCUK Principles
1. Data as freely and openly available as possible
2. Data Management Plans required, preservation
of long-term data is required
3. Appropriate metadata should be made openly
4. Acknowledgement of constraints on data release
5. Dataset users should acknowledge sources
6. Limited period of privileged access
7. It is appropriate to use public funds to support
preservation and management of data
The role of the institution
“The modern data-rich environment
for research and learning and the
open culture that is needed to exploit
it presents new challenges for
creating a setting that will
encourage researchers to adapt
their ways of working and…
implementing strategies to
manage the knowledge that they
Science as an open enterprise - The Royal Society 2012 p.71
Components of an RDM service
Institutions investing in managed storage for
active data are making substantial amounts
available free
5 TB
1 TB
Institutional collaborative platforms
0.5 TB
What is best practice for handling files?
» Adopt file naming conventions:
» Design a good project folder structure
How can I share sensitive data?
What support is there for data cleaning?
Training materials
What help is there with data protection
» Institutional FOI and IP advice
UCL sensitive data service
Data safe haven
Training and
“Sufficient metadata must be provided to
enable the dataset to be used by others.
Agreed best practice standards for
metadata provision should be adopted
where these are in place.”
What metadata should be captured?
» Minimum
» Discovery
» Readme file content
» Use
» Data Documentation Initiative
» DCC Metadata Catalogue
Do I need to archive non-digital data?
How can I make data citable and get credit for
sharing it?
» Digital objects must have an associated DOI
Orcid profiles can integrate with institutional
What if I want to host my own data?
» Making the case for preserving a live database
» Using an institutional repository as a back-end
How do I cost my RDM activities?
» 4C project
» UKDA costing tool
Jonathan Rans
[email protected]
Image Credits
4 Quadrants of research data: Stuart Lewis, Edinburgh University,
Metadata devil:

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