iridium – early findings on research data management planning (approaches, tools and writing plans)

Below is brief summary of some resources, findings and discussions on research data management plans (DMP) that have been noted along the way since the project start up. This has been collected from several activities and events such as iridium support team use of the MANTRA RDM online training package, project RDM tools assessment, together with attendance at the JISC Meeting (Disciplinary) Challenges in Research Data Management Planning Workshop and the DCC Roadshow North East.

Definitions

“Research data management refers to all aspects of creating, housing, delivering, maintaining, and archiving and preserving data. It is one of the essential areas of responsible conduct of research.” – MANTRA

“Plans typically state what data will be created and how, and outline the plans for sharing and preservation, noting what is appropriate given the nature of the data and any restrictions that may need to be.” – DCC

Purpose:

  • to assist in planning the research data management (RDM) aspects of your research
  • to assist you in making RDM decisions
  • to identify the RDM actions required
  • to highlight areas that need further thought
  • to provide a record of decisions made and actions taken

http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/static/5007/ceispdf/dmpguide.pdf

Attribution: Northumbria University School of Computing, Engineering & Information Sciences, 2012. CC-BY-SA

Benefits:

The benefits of managing your data include:

  • Meeting funding body grant requirements.
  • Ensuring research integrity and reproducibility.
  • Increasing your research efficiency.
  • Ensuring research data and records are accurate, complete, authentic and reliable.
  • Saving time and resources in the long run.
  • Enhancing data security and minimising the risk of data loss.
  • Preventing duplication of effort by enabling others to use your data.
  • Complying with practices conducted in industry and commerce.

– MANTRA

Local DMP practice/DAF survey results

From our survey (128 projects), findings were were 23% of projects have a formal research data management plan for institutional as a whole, with further 33% having a partial RDM plan (by Faculty split suggested a slightly higher proportion in line with a likely higher proportion of Research Council awards). I expect this is similar across sector? Open Exeter project reported ‘few researchers have experience of completing a data management plan ‘ from their DAF survey.

Policy

Institutional policies on DMP, some examples (see also DCC website):

Edinburgh, point 3: http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/information-services/about/policies-and-regulations/research-data-policy

Lincoln (draft), point 4: https://github.com/lncd/RDM-Policy/blob/master/Lincoln%20RDM%20Policy.md

Warwick , point 7: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/services/rss/researchgovernance_ethics/research_code_of_practice/datacollection_retention/reseatch_data_mgt_policy

Funder polices on DMP:

Various requirements at application and funded project stages. For exampe:

ESRC: http://www.esds.ac.uk/create/esrc/dataman/and http://ukdaresearchdatamanagement.blogspot.co.uk/

NERC: http://www.nerc.ac.uk/research/sites/data/dmp.asp?cookieConsent=A

MRC: http://www.mrc.ac.uk/Ourresearch/Ethicsresearchguidance/datasharing/DMPs/index.htm

See also DCC mappings across 6 funder policies to generic DCC Checklist (July 2011)

Training and guidance on research data management planning

External institutional support pages guidance:

http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/rdm/dmp/plans/

http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/information-services/services/research-support/data-library/research-data-mgmt/data-mgmt/why-research-data-policy

http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/datamanagement/creatingyourdata/dataplanning/

MANTRA training package covers DMP.

Advocacy for why DMP is important:

“… the role of data management for a new researcher as being one of those essential skills that you really ought to get at the same time as you learn how to handle your references, as you understand methodology, as you get to grips with the theory that is going to set the frame by which you do your research. And it sits alongside those and it’s equal to them …” – Professor Jeff Haywood, Vice Principal, CIO & Librarian, University of Edinburgh talks about the role of of data management for  PhD students and early career researchers

“… it actually gives you a really good framework and for my postgrads now I am pointing them towards that and saying hey,  you know, take a look at that because it will help you to think about how you’re going to gather your data and how you are going to look after it from  the beginning to the end of the project. It gives you a framework to deal with it rather than realizing too late that you  haven’t done some things that you should have done and  therefore you’ve made your life and perhaps actually cause problems for you with the use of data subsequently or sharing your data is made that more difficult.” – Professor Jeff Haywood, Vice Principal, CIO & Librarian, University of Edinburgh talks about the role of data management for  PhD students and early career researchers

Attribution: EDINA and Data Library, University of Edinburgh. Research Data MANTRA [online course]. http://datalib.edina.ac.uk/mantra

Also, available as a video.

DCC resources:

Discussion on DMP approaches and reviewing the styles of questions,  format, how ‘active’ in approach

Oxford DMPOnline Project wrote on and discussed the detail of research data management plans – very interesting reading. They discussed the concept of ‘plan questions’, ‘project questions’, ‘data questions’ and common issues they found when reviewing DMPs – such as compound questions, duplicates,  and individual plan unique questions [link to table XLS]. On DMP style they noted – discursive versus concise, ‘metadata’ versus ‘data’ questions, option to add possible responses and overall gaps in DMP scope and plans that lead to quantified expected data sizes/acquisition rates (resulting in actionable identification of requirements that can be report to a central service provider, as a result of the plan).

The conclusions should be read:

“.. difficult work, since there are many possible questions ..”

“.. avoid asking ambiguous questions ..”

“.. avoid asking for the same or similar information multiple times..”

“..unique questions not covered by the DMPonline ..”

“.. all of the available question sets have drawbacks ..”

“.. in terms of comprehensiveness, the best may be the enemy of the good enough..”

“.. devise and standardize the best possible set of questions for different constituencies of user ..”

[and more …]

http://datamanagementplanning.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/dmp-questions-comparisons-and-conclusions/

DMPs for different audiences – from targeted plans to template author background ‘bias’/priorities

Life-cycle stage specific: from (conception?), pre-award, post-award, to post-project.

Postgrad research project versus PI bidding for new funding.

Curator/archiver versus researcher orientated.

DMP online authoring tools or offline Word/PDF templates

Online tool has many useful advanced staging, customisation & collaboration features.

Online systems:

DMPOnline – pre-award, post-award, post-project, templates for Research Council/major funders, default templates, post-grad, etc. Features – add additional questions from DCC checklist, save, share/collaborate, copy, export to Office files, etc.

DCC/DMPOnline:

  • Introduction and Context
  • Data Types, Formats, Standards and Capture Methods
  • Ethics and Intellectual Property
  • Access, Data Sharing and Re-Use
  • Short-Term Storage and Data Management
  • Deposit and Long-Term Preservation
  • Resourcing
  • Adherence and Review

DCC website/DMPOnline

DMPOnline tools training:

http://www.dcc.ac.uk/webfm_send/879
http://www.dcc.ac.uk/webfm_send/881
http://www.screenr.com/Syo

DMPOnline advocated by MRC (ref 14), etc.

Institutional customisation or tailoring for local use available.
GitHub code: https://github.com/DigitalCurationCentre/DMPOnline (Ruby on Rails/MySQL)

Offline templates (Word/PDF format):

Some users do not like online systems, are overwhelmed by array of features/customisation options and just want a ready to go familiar Office document to type into.

DATUM: http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/sd/academic/ceis/re/isrc/themes/rmarea/datum/action/outputs/?view=Standard

Shotton 20 Questions http://datamanagementplanning.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/twenty-questions-for-research-data-management/ [CC:BY 3.0]

Bath 360 (postgrad-specific): http://blogs.bath.ac.uk/research360/2012/03/postgraduate-dmp-template-first-draft/

DMPTPsych(York) (postgrad?): http://www.dmtpsych.york.ac.uk/docs/pdf/dmpt_guidance.pdf

MRC: http://www.mrc.ac.uk/Utilities/Documentrecord/index.htm?d=MRC008617

Wellcome Trust: http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/About-us/Policy/Spotlight-issues/Data-sharing/Guidance-for-researchers/index.htm

Wider DMP discussions

  • extent of pre-population of template with default institutional information to aid researcher versus reducing actual thinking/planning for RDM
  • experience in information banks of DMPs, shared pool, ‘successful’ DMP
  • DMP online tools – metadata transfer protocols between systems/integration in existing RIM systems
  • DMP training needs, online/in person, embedding with training – ‘dual service engagement‘ (i.e. Monash), see DCC ‘support researchers with DMP
  • DMP embedding in existing institutional processes, internal peer review, funder review, DMP fields (i.e. data size) resulting a RIM system flag or automatic central service trigger
  • time requirements for writing a plan – minimal plans/resources required to support/advise/review DMP
  • DMP auditing – institutional, Funding Council, etc.
  • wider use as knowledge/information base for forward institutional planning, storing DMP (or parts of ) with an  archived data set, re-use to support metadata population

JISC Research Data Management Planning Projects

Strand B: DATUM, DMPSPsych, History DMP, etc.

Next steps for iridium project:

Reporting on initial user testing of DMPOnline and other templates, authoring a local DMP template and hosting options.

3 Responses to iridium – early findings on research data management planning (approaches, tools and writing plans)

  1. This is a great post, thanks Lindsay.

    DCC would be really keen to hear feedback from your user testing. If you could pass comments on to Magdalena Getler that would be great, as she’s co-ordinating the evaluation of DMP Online that we’re doing at present.

  2. Pingback: iridium – ‘core’ institutional research data management plan development « iridium

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