Daily Archives: December 12, 2011

JISC Managing Research Data programme – mk. 02 is go!

In case it’s useful, here’s a quick report on the JISC MRD02 programme manager’s opening remarks.  Simon Hodson’s introductory talk contained quite a lot of useful information for those working on the new programme and “fellow travellers”.

Simon opened the launch event by welcoming the new projects joining the JISC Managing Research Data (MRD) programme in its second funded iteration, plus some additional researchers from the last programme who were there to share experiences, and “fellow travellers”, i.e. interested other parties with experience to share or a particular interest in the work of the new iteration of the programme.

The current challenges include tackling management of the well-acknowledged data deluge: this is about huge quantities of data but the problems of managing this are not just limited to storage.  There are opportunities here: ways to improve and develop data re-use, run meta studies and engage with interdisciplinary grand challenges.  There is increasing awareness of research data as an asset and recognition of the fact that data has re-use value.  Simon stressed the importance of building on what’s already been done to ensure our work on research data management continues to make real progress.

Simon then described the new programme.  There are twenty-seven new projects funded through the 07-11 call for MRD02, across three main strands.

Strand A consists of the infrastructure projects – these include work on systems and storage, and also policy, support and guidance.  Nine projects from Strand A will be piloting new infrastructure, four will build on existing pilots, three will develop discipline-specific infrastructures and one will develop infrastructure with a focus on metadata.

Key deliverables for Strand A projects include:

  • Requirements analysis;
  • Implementation plan;
  • Description of a research data management system including lifecycle management and preservation;
  • Description of the human support infrastructure, i.e. the guidance and support that will be provided;
  • Institutional research data management policy;
  • Evidence of benefits of interventions made by each project and the cost of information where available;
  • Business plan for sustaining the pilot infrastructure or service.

There are ten more projects which are about planning in one way or another – these constitute Strands B and C.  These projects will help researchers, research groups and departments to meet funder requirements.  They will also explore discipline-specific challenges associated with making and executing DMPs.  There are eight 6-month projects developing DMPs and the infrastructure to implement these plans, and two 12-month projects enhancing DCC’s DMP Online tool.

Strand B planning projects will deliver

  • Requirements analysis and description of information / data development;
  • DMP and supporting system infrastructure with appropriate guidance and support materials;
  • No business case is required, but they should contribute to the programme objectives of gathering evidence for making the case for data planning.

Strand C planning projects will deliver

  • Requirements analysis and description of data architecture;
  • Adaptation of systems enhancement and adaptation with DCC of the DMP Online tool including guidance and user support, and feedback to DCC.

There will be a further funding call in January 2012 focusing on training and research data publications. The publications call will encourage bids to work in partnership with researchers, educational boards, scholarly societies, data centres and publishers, to encourage use and citation of data.  The research data management training call will seek bids for the development of training programmes for specific disciplines, for support roles (e.g. librarian, research liaison staff), and partnerships with professional bodies.  Key outputs sought include recommendations for future funding.

Simon mentioned several upcoming events which will be relevant for JISC MRD02 project staff.

  • There will be a workshop for RDM planning projects in or around March 2012 with a focus on demonstrating project outputs.
  • The British Library is being funded by the MRD02 programme to run a series of five workshops about DataCite, targeted at JISC MRD02 projects and open to other interested parties.
  • There will also be a workshop for infrastructure projects and fellow travellers in either July or September 2012 – the date for this is to be decided.
  • Finally, there will be the JISCMRD conference in March 2013, which will be a large international event for programme staff and an international audience to share findings, deliver demonstrations and plan future work.

Simon then introduced the importance of evidence gathering in the new programme.  This will be an explicit activity in this iteration of the programme with three part-time members of staff assigned to it.   It is important for the programme to have evidence of the benefits of the interventions provided by the projects and to be able to provide this evidence to the projects’ host institutions and to the wider community.  This will be supported by the programme as much as possible, and efforts by the projects to list and explain the benefits of their work will be helpful towards the writing of their business cases.

Projects will be specifically expected to identify likely benefits from their projects, what evidence they can produce and any possible metrics. This information should be blogged, both for the project’s own reference and in order to share it across the programme and also publicly.  The three evidence gatherers – Laura Molloy, Meik Poschen and Jonathan Tedds – will be identifying themes as they emerge from project blogs, and will be working with the projects to encourage blog posting, engage in tweeting and re-tweeting relevant material to promote project activity, posting their own blog material responding to issues raised by project reporting and generally, in this way, compiling and stimulating an evidence base.  The evidence gatherers will be particularly interested in commonalities across the programme including any themes arising around approaches, discipline focus, technical platforms, identifiers and metadata.

The webpage for the JISC MRD02 programme is located at


This page lists the URLs of project websites.

Simon has tracked the initial commonalities of the projects on the following publicly-available spreadsheet:


and the project blogs are listed on his own blog at


There is an RSS feed of JISC MRD02 project blogs at http://bit.ly/JISCMRD02-Blogs.  This feed was compiled by Jez Cope.  If you are a project on the programme, please do make sure your blog is listed here.

And a Twitter list for tweeters connected to the programme has been set up by Brian Kelly at https://twitter.com/#%21/briankelly/jiscmrd.

Thanks to Jez and Brian for these useful tools!

Laura Molloy

E: laura.molloy@glasgow.ac.uk

Twitter: @LM_HATII