iridium – dissemination at Jisc MRD02 Achievements, Challenges and Recommendations Programme Workshop March 2013

The iridium project (@iridium_mrd) is attending the Jisc MRD02 Achievements, Challenges and Recommendations Programme Workshop March 25-26 2013.

Ben Allen will be presenting on observations of the technical landscape.

We will also present a poster on key project outputs.



iridium – workshop talk and dissemination at JISC Progress Meeting, Nottingham

The iridium project presented at the JISC MRD02 Progress Meeting in Nottingham. The two day schedule from the event is here, together with the Programme introductory/close slides.

Workshop topics were:

  • Institutional RDM policies; developing an institutional strategy and an ‘EPSRC’ roadmap
  • Managing active data: storage, access, academic dropbox services
  • Data management planning: developing good practice and providing effective support
  • Data repositories and storage: options for repository service solutions
  • Training & guidance
  • Triage and handover: what to keep and where to entrust it? Selection and appraisal, deposit and handover
  • Business case: covering roles, responsibility, costing, sustainability, advocacy etc
  • Data catalogues: metadata profiles, identifiers

Individual projects were encouraged to contextualise presentations around the following themes:

[1] “what has worked/is working”
[2] “what lessons you have learned and how generalisable these may be”
[3] “what challenges remain”
[4] “how such challenges may be approached and what your institution/project intends to do”
[5] “what DCC / MRD activity you think may help make the challenge more tractable”

iridium ‘support’ presentation within ‘Training & Guidance’ session:

iridium presentation thumbnail

iridium presentation

iridium_JISC_Progress_25_10_2012_v4_web_sml_LW [.pdf]

We also presented two posters, one on the research data catalogue proof-of-concept and the second on our thematic analysis requirements gathering.

Other project presentations from the Programme are available here.

iridium – update on upcoming national research data management events

Upcoming national RDM events:

Call for Papers for International Digital Curation Conference
Deadline: extended to 30th (20th August 2012)
The call for papers is very broad and inclusive, so take the opportunity to share your good practice:

DataCite Technical Workshop
11:00-15:00 10th September 2012, The British Library Conference Centre, St. Pancras, London, NW1 2DB
This practical workshop is aimed at those who are considering incorporating DataCite services into their repository and would like to learn more about how to work with the technology.
The event will be limited to 15 people. We will consider running additional sessions if it is oversubscribed.
Please bring your own laptop.
If you would like to register for the event, please reply to this address with the following details:
Project (e.g. repository name or JISC-MRD involvement):
Caroline Wilkinson
Data Management Project Officer
Science, Technology and Medicine
The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
Tel: 020 7412 7250
Mendeley Group:

‘Managing the Material: Tackling Visual Arts as Research Data’ Workshop
09:45-16:00 14th September 2012, HEFCE, Centre Point, London WC1A 1DD
Further details and registration is available from:

18th-20th September 2012, The Hubworking Centre, 5 Wormwood Street, EC2M 1RQ, London, United Kingdom
If you’d like to attend the SPRUCE Mashup London, please sign up here:
SPRUCE is a JISC funded Project. For more information see:

Call for Papers/Tools for 4th Annual European DDI User Conference (EDDI12) DDI – The Basis of Managing the Data Life Cycle
Deadline: 3rd October 2012
Seeking both papers and tools on all things DDI. If you are interested in presenting a paper, please use the online submission system<> of the conference. The deadline for submissions is October 3, 2012. Please use the same link to submit an abstract on your tool until October 3, 2012. The deadline for submissions of the final program code is November 17, 2012.

2nd Workshop on Semantic Statistics for Social, Behavioural, and Economic Sciences: Leveraging the DDI Model for the Linked Data Web
15th-19th October 2012, Leibniz Center for Informatics, Schloss Dagstuhl, Wadern, Germany
Further information on the workshop, including venue details<> and a registration form, is available on the website of the workshop:

iridium – JISC MRD key benefits and metrics task from start-up meeting

A task assigned at the JISC MRD02 start-up meeting in Nottingham was to identify three key benefits that each project felt would be generated and indicate what evidence we felt would likely be be produced within and beyond the lifetime of the project.

Benefits and metrics were provided from the JISC MRD01 RDMI projects and Beagrie evaluation report: [page 4].

Two major outcomes were identified in the iridium project plan:

i) an institutional research data management policy (as required by the funding councils)

Benefit = long-term road-maps for RDM

Metric = improvements overtime in benchmark results (e.g. surveys of awareness of relevant support services or funder requirements) 

Benefit = improve data management plans and policies

Metric = re-use of infrastructure in new projects

ii) a costed business case for a sustainable institution-wide research data management infrastructure to support that policy

Benefit = Sustainability of research data infrastructure

[Metric = Institutional buy-in over long time period? Ratification of sustainable policy framework (???)]

Benefit = Cost modelling to plan for increasing demand

[Metric =  Re-use of model/costed decisions to support new projects/policies; validated activity-based costing[1] (information discovery/retrieval/data loss[2] (???)]

I found sustainability and cost modelling metrics troublesome.

In the project plan, we also identified several other benefits.

iii) project plan (evaluation) benefits

Influence beyond project on other policies

Benefit = integrated thinking around RDM

Our metric = number of related policies revised/guided

Benefit= Data routinely discovered

Our metric  = increased number of successful data requests

Benefit = Permanent change to practice

Our metric = reduced number of negative outcomes related to poor RDM practice

Other projects work on this task is here:


[1] JISC MRD01 Outputs,

[2] Sudamih project,

Research Data Catalogue: May is only a few months away……

Making Research Data Discoverable

As followers of this list will be aware, the IRDIUM project at Newcastle is taking a comprehensive ‘soup to nuts’ look at Research Data Management; all the way from scoping academic and funder requirements  through to what policies, guidance, tools, systems and training are needed to support them.

You may also know, particularly if you work anywhere near a Research Office, that come May the 1st 2012 EPSRC has asked that all Universities should have a road map to align their policies and procedures with the EPSRC research data management expectations. Through the Iridium project we have made significant headway here mainly by drafting up a Research Data Management Policy and a supporting Code of Good Practice,  however we are missing an appropriate catalogue in which we can record what data we have and make it discoverable to others (a key requirement). With that in mind we  met to discuss what could be put in place and other groups may find our discussion useful.

To start with we decided that the system we are going to put in place for May 1st will not be a repository but rather a straight forward web-based searchable catalogue of data and that we will only collect information on data that supports publication. We have opted for this measure as we know that data supporting publication should have already been prepared (i.e. confidentiality respected through the scrubbing of data, fields marked sensibly etc) plus we feel that data is normally available at this point for peer review and as a matter of good scientific practice, so (hopefully) we’re not asking too much more from our academics to fill in data information at the same point they fill in their new publication info in our output system.

The main part of the meeting was concerned with which fields we want to use and these were:

Key Information for the system:

  • File Type and Format (publically available)
  • Size (publically available)
  • Location (Private): resolved down to the most appropriate level e.g. file type, drive, URL or repository)
  • Type specific  Key Words (public): Free text field, c. 250 character limit to describe the data resource
  • Subject Specific key words (public): Free text field, c. 250 character limit to describe the data resource
  • Distinct Title (public): Free text field, c 250 character limit
  • Creator (Public): University user ID
  • Submission Date (Public)
  • Funder / Owner  (Either Private or Public)
  • Terms and Conditions (Private, available on request)
  • Status (public): live, deleted, corrupted etc
  • Last Access Date (private): Controlled through Access mechanism e.g updated by Research office

Related Objects

  • University project Ref (Private)
  • Publications (Public)
  • Unique ref / DOI equivalent
  • Upload time / date


  • Mechanism (suggest that this should run URO)
  • Cost
  • Our T & Cs (small number of boiler plate T& Cs)

Useful suggestions included; that we should have a change log for each field but that given the constraints there should be probably be controlled access after the upload and that, in future, we should have a method for allowing data re-users to add their own contextual information as a tag onto the data. Plus a very interesting question as to whether we could assign a non-financial value e.g. value to science and a suggestion that we could do that via publications link (4* pub = 4*data). Finally we’ll also look at linking our existing systems as this would add significantly to both the wealth of information held about the data and by making elements such as confidentiality and / or publications automatic.

We’re aiming to start working on this soon but as always we’d appreciate hearing from the anyone who can add anything or direct us to good examples of what’s already out there, please get in touch at niall.o’

Handouts from the JISC MRD Meeting In Nottingham 2011

I’ve scanned in the handouts from the JISC MRD Meeting in Nottingham last December. In quick summary this contains the programme, the list of attendees, the summary of metrics and benefits provided by the RDMI project along with two fact-sheets on keeping research data safe. Hope it helps,

JISC Data Managment_r2


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