iridium – fourth postgraduate student feedback on MANTRA RDM (4)

This is the fourth in a series of postgraduate blog posts reviewing the MANTRA training package from different discipline perspectives.

This post is from Blanca, postgraduate student in flood management:

“I have recently joined the iridium postgraduate team. My first task was to complete the online course by Data Library and EDINA, University of Edinburgh.

The online course comprises several learning units and software practical. I was only required to follow the online learning units, some units are still in development and I am looking forward to explore them in the near future.

The units I had the opportunity to explore are the following:

Unit 1 – Research data explained: really useful if you want to know the difference between what is research data and what is not. At the beginning I thought everything was research data!

Unit 2 – Data management plans: a data management plan never ends! That’s what I took from this chapter. It also reminded me that there is a public responsibility that one takes when doing research, thus it is important to correctly and responsibly handle research data.

Unit 3 – Organizing data: perhaps my favorite chapter. I helped me design a naming convection and versioning methodology for my files, something I will continue doing for the rest of my life.

Unit 4 – File formats and transformation: quite informative, especially the concept of files normalization and the importance of this when sharing data, it makes data more flexible and comparable.

Unit 5 – Documentation and metadata: it was really useful to know the difference between documentation and metadata. However, it was difficult for me to understand metadata categories.

Unit 6 – Storage and security: This was more like a horror movie “The nightmare of PhD students”. It really made me realize the price of losing my research data. I haven’t generated huge amounts of data, but the truth is that I need to review backup strategy. This chapter has really good videos with extremely important messages “Backup is the most important part of RDM”.

As an overall, I found this online course quite useful. I would totally recommend it! Besides providing me with the background and the jargon to carry out my work within iridium, it has actually helped me with my own project management. I believe it would be a great idea to introduce this kind of course to all postgraduate students at Newcastle University as part of the postgraduate research development program. This kind of course would be a great complement to the workshops that we have already. It also provides great skills for our future professional life.”


One Response to iridium – fourth postgraduate student feedback on MANTRA RDM (4)

  1. Megan Quentin-Baxter says:

    Thanks Blanca, interesting post, thanks for your feedback.

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