Iridium JISC MRD02 project – reflecting on the first month

The iridium project aims to produce a complete holistic plan and infrastructure for Research Data Management (RDM) at Newcastle University, making data generated by research at the University both available and discoverable with effective curation throughout the full data lifecycle in consultation with the researchers who produce it. Specific objectives are: to determine current practice and future requirements; to produce an institutional RDM policy informed by the results; to support that policy by integrating data management tools and support into a pilot data management infrastructure.

The project will be based around the production of an institutional RDM policy by the University Research Office. This policy will be supported by the production of user support and tools by the Digital Institute, Information Systems & Services and the Library.

The project’s institutional web site is at and we will also be using this blog ( and our Twitter feed ( #iridiummrd #jiscmrd) to disseminate. The project’s internal mailing list has been well used and there has been some good discussion so far, some of which we hope to share as longer blog posts.

In the last month we have had a full project team planning meeting to add detail to the project plan (workpackages, stakeholder analysis, risk analysis, etc.) and arranging working groups for the early workpackages (e.g. WP1: Requirements and WP2: Policy). We have discussed the need to be clear to researchers about the projects’ aims and managing their expectations. The project has disseminated internally to the University Research Committee and we have started the process of recruiting postgraduate student to assist with the project.

Establishing reseachers’ requirements locally is key, initially through  surveys and face-to-face meetings as the outcome of this is required as a prerequisite for later workpackages. We have started to look at the body of work and outcomes completed through the previous JISC MRD01 programme and other related project. There are a lot! The project has identified some useful previous requirements surveys (DAF, Sudahmih, MaDAM, IDMB, ERIM, etc.), published policies (Edinburgh, Oxford, research funders, etc.) and data management online planning tools (CARDIO, DMP online). As Project Manager, I am seeing if a Custom Google MRD Search and Diigo collaborative bookmarking tools will assist in getting up to speed with previous work done in this area and noting previous project outputs.

Iridium is keeping an eye on RDM events and will be attend the Incentivising Data Management & Sharing event later in the month and of course the Programme start up meeting in December. These events are being added to our project calendar.

We are looking forward to sharing good practice and getting feedback from fellow projects. Iridium is following the JISCMRD list and we are adding project blog RSS feeds to a ‘MRD blog bundle‘ to keep up to date other good work and following the #jiscmrd hastag on Twitter. The links to other projects’ blogs are fast being released, which is great for ‘picking up’ ideas. I liked the straightforward ‘What is RDM‘ page added to the MiSS project site and the MRD reading list from the Orbital project in RefShare.

We will be posting regularly to the blog and welcome comments.


2 Responses to Iridium JISC MRD02 project – reflecting on the first month

  1. Hi Lindsay, I am very sorry for somehow having missed this post or – most likely – having overlooked part of it. I realise that I should have alerted the other projects to the Google reader bundle, as Jez Cope has since repeated this work. Likewise the custom search as one has been put together by Brian Kelly. Oops…

    Best, Simon.

  2. Laura says:

    Thanks for this interesting reflection on the ideas behind the project and your intentions of where to go next. I think it’s very wise to be concerning yourselves with the expectations and requirements of researchers from the start. I’m also very encouraged by iridium’s open outlook and awareness of the activity across the rest of the programme. Great stuff!

    A couple of resources not mentioned that might be useful or at least interesting:
    1. We did quite a lot of work with Glasgow and Cambridge researchers of several disciplines about their data management behaviours in the JISC Incremental project (MRD01) – our scoping study and report contains the results and is online at
    2. The DATUM for Health project – from the training strand of MRD01 – created a custom Google search – you can see its scope and a link to it here:

    Looking forward to reading more!

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