iridium JISC MRD02 – monthly update December ’11

Progress to date

Workpackage 0 (Project Management)

  • Steering Group meeting took place on 20 Dec 2011 and established Terms of Reference. This first meeting was extremely valuable with the project team gaining general feedback on workpackages and specific comments on early outputs.
  • Management Group meetings took place on 5 and 15 December 2011 to review progress against project plan and active workpackages.
  • nominations for Consultative Group membership were received from University Research Committee (URC). More are needed.
  • 6 post-graduate students have been appointed. Induction is scheduled for mid-January 2012.
  • early workpackages are taking longer than expected and are less linear than the original project plan envisaged. It is becoming clear that iterative refinement cycles involving talking to researchers and revising early draft outputs is necessary. Notwithstanding this, downstream workpackages have been initiated on schedule and are running in parallel.

Workpackage 1 (Requirements)

  • requirements survey interview script has been trialled with some initial researchers. Feedback will be incorporated into revised version.
  • working group has identified requirements gathering methods to include face-to-face interviews, an online survey, and small group engagement activities and will meet again on 12 Jan 2012.
  • a growing list of initial and key interview participants is being drawn up.
  • requirements survey interview training for postgraduate students is scheduled for 26 January 2012.

Workpackage 2 (Policy)

  • draft policy principles have been reviewed by Steering Group and feedback received.
  • a working group on the 16 January 2012 will begin authoring a more detail policy document to give practical guidance on how to implement these principles.

Workpackage 3 (Assessment of tools)/Workpackage 4 (Assessment of systems)

  • these workpackages will run together until a need is identified for them to run separately.
  • they will be led by Paul Haldane and Paul Thompson.
  • an initial report will be prepared for the Management Group by 2 February 2012.

Workpackage 9 (Dissemination)

  • internal dissemination has occurred through iridium project mailing list and URC.
  • Steering Group has identified groupings within University with existing meetings than iridium can disseminate to.
  • the project plans to submit a poster to Association of Research Managers and Administrators meeting.
  • an abstract for ECRM 2012 conference has been accepted.
  • JISC Programme start-up meeting on 1-2 December 2012 was attended Dr Steve McGough and Lindsay Wood.
  • project has been involved in discussion with DCC about a North East roadshow in April 2012.

Activities in the last month

Risks & issues

Risk/issues likely to present in the coming 3 months are:

  • team needs to be very clear that the iridium project is not about data storage space and to manage researchers’ expectations
  • researchers do not give/identify their needs or that researchers’ needs are out of scope
  • project highlights existing practice in data management that requires change
  • until March 2012, preparation workload for researchers relating to REF14 will deter project engagement.

Milestones & challenges

In the coming 3 months, identified milestones are:

  • project plan accepted (with any necessary changes) and external reporting submission.
  • RDM requirements identified and analysis published, including use cases.
  • exemplar research projects identified and engaged.
  • a detailed RDM draft policy document, consolidated using the analysis of existing policies, is authored to support policy principles.
  • postgraduate students training and activities management

2 Responses to iridium JISC MRD02 – monthly update December ’11

  1. Hi Lindsay,

    Many thanks for this. Sorry for not having acknowledged it sooner.

    Progress seems solid. I look forward to an update on the involvement of the PG students (after their training on 26 January), and the outcomes of the initial assessment of tools and systems (from 2 February).

    I note the need for feedback and sign-off of the Iridium Project Plan and apologise for the delay on my part.



  2. Laura says:

    Another useful update. It would be great to hear more about what the six pg students have been recruited for, and which disciplines they’re from.

    I’m also interested to hear if your training resources being developed for post-grad and post-doc only, or for all Newcastle researchers.

    In terms of the surveying of researchers, we found on Incremental that a bit of benchmarking, i.e. how they’re managing their data right now, and also how (if!) they found RDM guidance/policy, was useful to help our understanding of their priorities and of what they wanted and weren’t getting. It also helped us later on when we were reporting the improvements we’d delivered at the end of the work.

    Anyway, looking forward to following next steps.

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