iridium – research data management frequent and key questions

Our requirements gathering interviews, online survey free-text responses, and stakeholder engagement has given rise to numerous questions and discussion about best practice in RDM. Several institutional RDM sites and projects have developed RDM FAQ pages. I note the Open Exeter project touched on this during their June workshop a while back. Questions raised then included …

“What is data

What to do with data after you finish your PhD or project?

“the best way to back-up,

use of central university storage,

number of passwords,

complexity of working online (which can make free cloud services more attractive),

lack of support with queries or uncertainty about who to contact;

selection and disposal,

uncertainty over who owns the data”

[JISC MRD Evidence Gatherering project blog report on the workshop]

… and I’ve found/seen blogged a few more institutional RDM FAQs:

From our requirements gathering interviews/surveys with researchers (and related staff), staff queries and from our own project internal questions/discussions when planning for end user needs, this long list has been gathered (but not all the answers to these questions though, yet!) Obviously, there are some good sources of information out there for many queries such as the DCC website/resources, JISC Legal, JISC MRD outputs, individual Funder guidance, existing University guidance, the UK Data Archive help,  some Library pages, specific legal sites, etc.

This is what has come up so far:

What is ‘research data management’? Why is it important?

What is the University doing about it?

What is the University policy on RDM?

What is RDM good practice? What should I be doing?

My discipline is XXX, what is the specific RDM good practice? (i.e. Microscopy, Engineering, History, Biomedicine, Visual arts, Architecture, etc.)

What does a RDM plan consist of? Can I see examples?

How is research data defined? What do you mean by ‘data’?

What research data do I keep? How long for?

What research data do I need to share, my XXX Funder’s policy is ambiguous?

My research data is not digital, what do I archive/curate?

What is metadata? What metadata, specifically for research data, do I record?

How do I record the context of my research? What is sufficient context? How do I keep this/package with my data?

What is data curation/preservation? Isn’t curation a time burden?

What file formats should I use for long term archiving?

I have many CDs/DVD (etc.) with archived research data on, can I retrospectively index/capture metadata?

What tool(s) will help me manage my (or my Academic Units) research data?

I want to share my data, how/where do I do this?

I want to share my data, how do I licence it?

I do not want to share my data, do I have to? How can I avoid this (I have reasons not to share)?

What about commercialisation considerations?

What about ethics considerations?

My Funder and I disagree on the extent to which project research data should be placed in a national repository (there are sensitive ethical issues), what should I do?

What is Funder X’s policy? My funder doesn’t have a policy? Does it?

Funder policies keep changing, how do I keep up to date? My different Funders each have different policies, what do I do?

Who in the University can I get guidance from?

Where should I store/archive my data?

What are the national data centres? What repository is available for my research discipline?

There is no national repository for my discipline, does the University have one?

I have (lots of) data I want to bring from my former University, how can I do this?

I have had an FOI request for my research data, what do I do?

I have had an FOI request for a staff members’ data, who has long since left, what do I do?

Is my institutional personal ‘ “Home” drive suitable for storing/archiving my research data?

What *approved* tools are available for sharing data internally to University?

What *approved* tools are available for sharing data externally to University?

I need access to my data off campus/while overseas, how? (also Mac compatible).

What *approved* tools are available for collaborating/discussion on research projects internally/externally to University?

How can I share large files securely?

Is Google Docs appropriate/approved for research data?

Is DropBox appropriate/approved for research data?

Is the ‘cloud’ appropriate for research data storage?

Can cloud services be used to make research data processing/analysis more efficient?

How can I improve processing speed of raw data?

What can I do about low bandwidth for data transfer?

What induction training is there for PIs/Visitors/PDRA/PhD/UGs?

How does the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) effect research data requests?

What is a ‘data paper’? Do data papers attract REF?

Can research data be submited for REF?

How do I cite my research data?

Where does funding for long term storage come from? How do I add to direct/indirect cost?

Will my research grant still be funded if I include data curation costs?

Where can I find RDM training materials to incorporate/adapt?

What RDM training can I attend locally/nationally (at different career levels/roles)?

What is data security?/What encryption good practice is recommended? (i.e. Bit Locker/ISO9xxx?) What physical security measures are adequate?

I have paper-based data/data backed to tape, what is the institutional provision for a fire-proof storage location?

The RDM policy states XXX /’appropriate storage, treatment and security’ what are definitions/examples of this?

What is the research data life cycle?

Should I ever delete data?

What is file compression?

I am running out of research data storage space, can I get more?

Where can I find policy XYZ?

I am a NHS employee, but I do research in the University, how do I …?

I am a HE employee, but do I research in the NHS, how do I …?

I have a NHS/HE dual/honary contract, my data is on an NHS encrypted drive, when I bring it to the University … … ?

The NHS requires that I have a separate XXX/laptop for NHS work, this cause difficulty and means that … ….?

Are external USB hard drives ‘bad’ for research data storage? Why?

Are external RAID (RAID5?) devices acceptable?

Can you outline examples of different storage options, their appropriateness for research data storage, failure rate and cost per TB per year?

Who owns my research data? Do I own my research data? What is IPR? Do undergraduates own their data? Do postgraduates own their data?

What is good practice in data backup? Do you have an example Standard Operating Proceedure?

I believe research data is at risk in my Academic Unit (security/or hardware), who do I report it to?

What are the implications of storing/sharing data across UK/EU/International borders, etc.?

How do I measure ‘last accessed’ date of my research data sets?

I wrote a RDM plan, it didn’t predict my actual storage needs accurately as project was more successful/went in new direction, what can I do? Can I get some temporary storage?

We have our own database/repository, how can we link up with the institutional Research Data Catalogue (RDC)?

What interoperability (ingest/harvest feed formats) does the RDC offer?

How can I bulk upload to/ingest from RDC for a large number of metadata records?

How will the iridium project feed into the local XXX project/initiative?

How has the recent XXX review fed into iridium project?

My data was licensed for a specific purpose, so I cannot share data (share metadata), can I?

How do I consent for open access data? How do I extend/should I contact my data subject again/patients again to get consent for open access?

Why do I need to do a full ethics review again because of [condition X] and [condition Y]?

Can the University provide guidance on negotiating with differing policies from IRAS, local NHS Trusts and national NHS policies?

Do people actually read RDM plans? What teeth do Research Councils have?

I have a staff member leaving, how should I prepare in terms of RDM?

We no longer have funding to maintain XXX research data collection, what should we do with the research data?

My research data has national security implications, I cannot share data/metadata?

I don’t think repository XXX be able to store my XXX research data type?

What would be the terms and conditions for someone using my data?

My data would require a custom/obscure piece of software for its meaningful use? How can this be achieved if I deposit data?

What would be the reason(s) to release data prior to publication?

I want to be selective about the data sets I release, part of it will form future research funding proposals, is this OK with University policy/Funder XXX policy?

Do you have a sample data/client agreement or licence agreement?

Can I create controlled access/levels of access for different people internal/external to University?

How do I document the context/conditions/parameters of my research and its data?

It would be impossible/difficult for me to pass on the context of my research data, without this the data does not have re-use value?

I have seen XXX tool, can I/should I use that for RDM?


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