Faculty of Health and Social Care: Session on Open Access and Research Data Management

Open Access (OA) week 2014 kicked off for me on Tuesday 21st October with a session for HSC researchers on Open Access and Research Data Management( (RDM). While this was not organised as an OA week event (it was merely a coincidence that the session fell during the same week) it was a great way to raise awareness of OA issues in this faculty. It was made apparent in the session that the open publication of research outputs is a particularly important issue in the field of health and social care as it allows practitioners on the front line to access the latest research without expensive journal subscriptions.

The session started with an interesting presentation by Nicola Dowson (Library Services Manager – Research Support) and Tony Coughlan. This covered options for (Gold or Green) OA publishing and was enhanced by examples from Tony’s own experiences of OA. A testament to the wide-reaching nature of articles published under open licences is the fact that a number of Tony’s articles have now been translated and read all over the world– he actually found out about this because people emailed him questions about his papers in their native languages! Click here to download the slides.

Next, I gave a short but informative presentation on Research Data Management, entitled “Top 10 things you need to know”. This was in the style of Top of the Pops (but without the awkward teenage dancing). In at number 1 on my chart was the fact that advice andguidance on RDM is available – in the form of the OU RDM intranet site, the Digital Curation Centre, the UK Data Service (highly recommended for researchers working with qualitative data) and MANTRA, the online training suite from University of Edinburgh. Click here to download the slides.

Finally Janet Fink gave a very engaging talk on her experiences of managing and sharing data for the Enduring Love project which ended in November 2013. A requirement of this ESRC funded project was the deposit of the underlying data in the UK Data Archive. Anonymising the data collected in this project was a complicated and lengthy task. The researchers interviewed 50 couples both together and separately, and in order to protect people’s identities (and their relationships) they had to ensure that the individual interviews could not be traced back to the couple interviews. Ultimately Janet’s advice was to make sure that you clean and catalogue your data as you go along, as this will save you a lot of time when you come to deposit it!

A great deal of insightful discussion was generated by these highly interesting and informative talks and the audience certainly seemed to take away a lot of food for thought.


About Isabel Chadwick

Research Support Librarian at the Open University. I look after ORDO, the institutional research data repository and provide guidance and training on all thing research data related.
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