Category Archives: Tools

ORDO online drop-in

Our monthly online drop-in session for ORDO is tomorrow, Tuesday 4th September, 11:30 – 12:30.

Ask Dan about using our research data repository, ORDO, for data preservation, data sharing, showcasing your work, collaborative projects… and anything else.

To join, go to our Adobe Connect “Research Support” page and click on “join room” (and if you find the link takes you to the “DISS Home” page instead, click on “Resources” at the top and scroll down to “Research Support”).

ORDO online drop-in tomorrow

Our monthly online drop-in session for ORDO is tomorrow, Tuesday 7th August, 11:30 – 12:30.

Ask Dan about using our research data repository, ORDO, for data preservation, data sharing, showcasing your work, collaborative projects… and anything else.

To join, go to our Adobe Connect “Research Support” page and click on “join room” (and if you find the link takes you to the “DISS Home” page instead, click on “Resources” at the top and scroll down to “Research Support”).

ORDO online drop-in today

Our monthly online drop-in session for ORDO is today, 11:30 – 12:30.

Ask Dan about using ORDO for data preservation, data sharing, showcasing your work, collaborative projects… and anything else.

To join, go to our Adobe Connect “Research Support” page and click on “join room” (and if you find the link takes you to the “DISS Home” page instead, click on “Resources” at the top and scroll down to “Research Support”).

ORDO online drop-ins – ask us about the OU’s research data repository

Heard of ORDO already but not sure what it does?

Never heard of it before but interested in options for storing and sharing data to support your research?

I’ll be holding an online drop-in session for ORDO, the OU’s research data repository, on the first Tuesday of every month at 10:30 to answer any questions you have about data preservation, data sharing, showcasing your work, collaborative projects… and anything else.

 

The first session is on Tuesday 5th June, and then at the same time on the first Tuesday of every month after that. Drop-in at any time and stay as long as you want.

To join, go to our Adobe Connect “Research Support” page and click on “join room” (and if you find the link takes you to the “DISS Home” page instead, click on “Resources” at the top and scroll down to “Research Support”).

If you want to get started right away, see the ORDO information on our website or get in touch at library-research-support@open.ac.uk

New online data skills modules from the UK Data Service

The UK Data Service has just launched three new online Data Skills Modules, to introduce data to non-experts via easy-to-use interactive sessions.

Data Skills Modules logo and link

Launched as beta versions, they are introductory level modules using short instructional videos, interactive quizzes and activities to test your knowledge, and are aimed at anyone who wants to learn more about using:

  • Survey data
  • Longitudinal data
  • Aggregate data

You can conduct the modules in your own time, and dip in and out around your schedule.

As always, we also recommend checking out the many other excellent resources for using and managing data on the UK Data Service site.

Applying for AHRC funding? Get to know your DMP

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has changed how it wants funding applicants to tell them how they will manage and share their research data. Previously, a Technical Plan was required, which would then be reviewed by members of the Technical College, but AHRC now requires a Data Management Plan (DMP) to be submitted instead, which will be assessed by members of the Academic College as part of the whole proposal.

A DMP will be mandatory for all Research Grants, Follow on Funding and Leadership Fellows proposals, and harmonises AHRC with other Research Councils, most of which require a DMP.

Plans should give information about:

  • Types of data
  • Proposed methodologies
  • Short and long term storage
  • Data sharing
  • Ethical and legal considerations

AHRC has updated its Research Funding Guide to include guidance about what information to include for these sections, the format to use (no more than 2 pages of A4 at font size 11!), and how to name your plan.

The funding guide also describes that when submitting, applicants confirm that their institution has considered and will meet a number of points which support and facilitate good data management. These services and information about them are all available at the OU, so if you have any questions please get in touch.

DMP Online has also been updated and now has an AHRC DMP template with relevant guidance, making it easy to structure and format your plan.

As usual, we are very happy to review DMPs before they are submitted (you can email them to library-research-suppotr@open.ac.uk), and, as we do for other funders, we will add examples of completed plans to our website as soon as we have them. If you’re happy to share yours, please let us know!

Ps. You might want to check out the recording and slides from our recent online training session on Writing Successful Data Management Plans

Online drop-in – find out about ORDO, the OU’s research data repository

ORDO (Open Research Data Online) is the OU’s research data repository, where OU research staff and students can upload their data, for:

  • secure long-term storage
  • sharing with others, by creating a metadata record describing it and, where appropriate, making the data itself accessible.

You can use it to publish data supporting a publication, or to archive at the end of a project.

“ORDO has proved incredibly useful for hosting sound clips generated by acoustic simulations and experiments, enabling us to provide a link to those clips within conference papers and journal publications” (Professor David Sharp)

We’ll be having an online drop-in next week on Tuesday 27TH March at 11:00-12:00, where we’ll show you how it works and be on hand to answer any questions you have. Feel free to join us at any time during the hour.

To join the session, go to our Adobe Connect online room page and click on “join room”.

If that time doesn’t work for you, or if you want to get started, you can find ORDO at ou.figshare.com and log in with your OU credentials.

For more information, see the ORDO information on our website or get in touch at library-research-support@open.ac.uk

 

Using Zenodo to share your research data? Join our community!

Zenodo is a repository for preserving and sharing research data (one of many, like our own repository, ORDO).  

Zenodo logo and link

Created by OpenAIRE and CERN, and supported by the European Commission, Zenodo holds data from all fields of research, preserving it for the long term and making it discoverable, accessible and citable. 

Open University Zenodo Community

Everyone at the OU is of course welcome to use ORDO, but if Zenodo is your repository of choice, you can now add your data to the Open University Zenodo Community, which we have created to showcase OU research data held there. Just go to the community page and click on the green ‘New upload’ link. 

 

Planning for Research Data Management: workshop slides

Yesterday I ran a session on Planning for Research Data Management as part of the Core Skills series.

We talked about the current RDM landscape and looked in detail at Data Management Plans using a DMP template, and ended with a game of DMP Bingo.

The slides are available here:

Thanks to everyone who took part!

A reminder too that we’ll be delivering an online session on the legal and ethical issues around data sharing next week.

This will be run using Adobe Connect; joining instructions can be found on the event pages on My Learning Centre, but if in doubt please email us at library-research-support@open.ac.uk

Research Data Resolutions

At the end of January we held our Research Data Resolutions event, where we invited researchers and anyone who supports research at the OU to join us for an open discussion of the issues around research data management (RDM).

What was the aim of the session?

We offer RDM support to the whole University through our website, training, repository and enquiries, but contact with researchers and those supporting them is largely limited to those who get in touch or attend our sessions, and often that it is to meet a particular need (which is great and we’re very happy to do), but we found ourselves wondering how could widen our knowledge of RDM at the OU?

It seems natural for us to focus on the mandated and defined goals of data management planning and meeting funder requirements – they are of course important – but are they the things that are most important to researchers? Are there other issues that we, as a support team, could know more about?

So, we decided to have an informal and open forum for an hour to hear what the important issues are at the University, and to encourage a sharing of experiences and ideas. If we learned anything that would help us understand better how OU research colleagues work, and how we can best support them, then all the better.

What did we talk about?

Without an agenda or structure, we set about seeing where the conversation took us, which touched on, and often returned to, several themes:

Data sharing

  • Why share? – publisher and funder requirements – what are the motivators?
  • What to share – selecting and preparing data to be shared – What’s relevant to support a particular publication? What will be useful to others? How much work is it to get it ready?
  • Sharing responsibly – How to effectively anonymise – The risks of data sharing when the potential of future technologies to aggregate data is unknown.

Informing participants and gaining consent

  • How to be clear and granular when communicating with participants how data will be gathered, stored and shared – The difficulty in balancing giving enough detail and being too complicated to understand and abide by.
  • Managing participants’ rights without compromising the research process.

Data management planning

  • Even if you know what you are doing you need to explain it well for others to understand.
  • The need for clear guidance and to know what’s expected.
  • How long should we retain data?

Storage and tools

  • Balancing convenience with security – Where is the data stored and backed-up? Is it compliant with data protection, and what about GDPR?
  • Can one system fit all? Can the university support everyone’s needs?
  • Using open source software to build our own tools – can we adapt existing software to give the functionality and security we want?

These are the main topics but even during the short time we had, we touched on many more too.

What did we learn?

As expected, there were certainly more questions than definitive answers, but the conversations illustrated a couple of things I think we already knew:

  • That research at the OU is varied and different disciplines, methods, and groups have different needs and require different solutions and approaches.
  • That everything is connected. The topics we talked about overlapped and connected in many ways.

It also indicated, from a relatively modestly sized group of ten, that there is an appetite to discuss RDM amongst OU colleagues.

It was certainly very helpful for us to hear how researchers work, and we hope those taking part enjoyed sharing their experiences too.

Next steps

As it was the first of this kind of event we’ll reflect on how it went and think whether we should do it again, and in what form? If you have any feedback, are interested in joining another session, or would like to suggest a particular research data issue for discussion, please get in touch – and watch this space!

And many thanks to everyone who took part and contributed to the discussion, either at the event or by sending their ideas in advance.

Written by Dan Crane, Research Support Librarian