Report from the RDM training day

With thanks to Beth Hall, Academic Support Librarian at Bangor University for this blog post:

The WHELF research group organised a training session on Research Data Management at Cardiff University on the 6th September.  Attendees represented a range of the WHELF academic institutions, Natural Resources Wales, and National Museum Wales – Amgueddfa Cymru.

Dr Andrew Cox, senior lecturer at the Information School at the University of Sheffield and project director of RDMRose, delivered the training session.  Andrew gave us an in-depth introduction to what is involved in research data management, what support researchers need, what expectations are out there from research funders and institutions, and a chance to explore our role and the role of others at our institution. A highlight of the session was listening to some recorded examples of researchers talking about their data; we explored the attitudes and experiences of researchers. There was also opportunities to reflect, discuss and share ideas about RDM support across institutions.

rdm-blog-300x200Some of us had been at previous training provided by UKeiG at Cardiff Metropolitan University on 1st July 2015 and already had a good working knowledge of RDM.  This session on 6th September 2016 was an important timely update and did incorporate updates to funder expectations, for example the RCUK concordat on research data.  This session also had a focus on how we lead change at our institutions; this was something we recognised as an important focus for WHELF. Many of us have set up services and support at our institutions but we now need to embed and establish these services, and we need to expand and increase engagement with these services.

At the end of the training session, we had a group discussion to identify areas where WHELF institutions can collaborate to further develop RDM support, these are listed as follows.  The WHELF research group will discuss how to take these forward:

  • Share and co-develop training materials
  • Audit where are we now – current status of RDM support and structure at WHELF institutions, also identify strengths at the institutions that could be shared – expertise/subject specialists
  • More training/webinars on RDM topics e.g. DMP online, this need could be met by raising awareness of webinars being provided by JISC, DCC and other organisations
  • Share and co-develop RDM policies
  • Share event attendance/representation on national groups such as the RDN and RDMF

We also spent some time as a group discussing our top current priorities at our institutions. The priorities are as follows ranked in order of importance:

  • Awareness raising amongst research staff at our institutions
  • Creating training materials and good practice examples
  • Complying with RCUK policies and the new RDM concordat
  • Setting up a data repository with appropriate metadata, better understanding about metadata schemes for data
  • Engaging with senior staff

Other concerns that the Bangor University research support team highlighted are:

  • Sensitive data
  • RDM for EU-funded projects
  • Using a CRIS as a data repository
  • Working with the research office and ensuring RDM is considered for grant applications before they are submitted