Category Archives: Data Champions

We are the (Data) Champions!

Earlier this week I was delighted to be able to meet via Teams with some of our fantastic Data Champions after a long pause (due to conflicting commitments during the pandemic).

The Data Champions programme started in summer 2019 with the aim of embedding good research data management practice into all the schools across the university. Through the network we are able to disseminate our guidance and training materials more easily, field discipline-specific enquiries, and organise events and seminars related to issues in research data management and sharing.

A photo from the last time we all met in person (2019)

Currently we have 17 Data Champions, based across the University; their profiles can be viewed on the Data Champions page on our website.

It would be great to have some more Data Champions based in STEM, so if you’re interested in getting involved please send us an email for more information.

We are planning some more activities for the wider OU research community over the coming months to showcase the work with data that researchers across the University are involved in, so please watch this space for more details!

Data Triumphs and Disasters!

We’re so excited about our first Data Seminar, taking place next Thursday 14th November, 12.30-13.30.

We’ve got a great line-up from the Library, RES and FASS telling real-life stories of how data management has gone wrong and right. You’re welcome to bring your lunch along and we’ll provide some sweet treats too.

We’re pleased to announce the programme:

12.30: 4 Golden Rules of Data Management – Maxine Borton and Isabel Chadwick (Library)

Maxine and Isabel will use examples of data management gone wrong which have hit the headlines to deliver 4 golden rules to help you avoid data loss.

12.45 I am a Humanist, get me out of here! – Francesca Benatti (FASS)

Reflecting on her experiences as a PhD student, Francesca will give a personal take on how she’s learned to manage her research data effectively.

13.00 Technologies, Data Management and Specialist Archives – Muriel Swijghuisen Reigersberg (RES)

Muriel will talk about her experiences of depositing her audiovisual data in a specialist data archive, and give tips on how to avoid making the mistakes she unfortunately encountered.

13.15 Questions and discussion

Visit Eventbrite to book your place.

We are the (Data) Champions!

The Library Research Support team are pleased to announce the launch of our new Data Champions programme, with the first of our Data Champions forums being held in the Library last week. 

This forum was an opportunity for us to meet our Champions and for them to get to know each other, as well as to find out more about what the programme entails. 

The Data Champions programme has been set up as a way of promoting OU Research Data Management (RDM) services and tools within faculties and to provide more discipline-specific data management advice and support.  

As part of this programme, our Data Champions have been asked to contribute to the development and delivery of a data-focussed seminar series across the coming year; and planning for our first session has already begun in earnest. 

Our 13 Data Champions offer representation across every faculty and bring with them a range of experiences of managing diverse data types, from highly sensitive interview data to archival materials and the re-use of third-party data. After hearing more about the programme (and a bit of themed cake!), our Champions made an enthusiastic start, sharing their data management experiences and producing a whole host of fantastic ideas to theme our future seminars around.   

Keep your eyes open for updates on our first seminar!

Call for Data Champions!

The Library is launching a new Data Champions programme, and we are looking for PGR students and staff who are interested in taking part.

What would this involve?

Data Champions are expected to:

  • Lead by example – make data open (via ORDO or other data repositories); share best practice through case studies and blog posts, and share Data Management Plans on the Library Research Support website 
  • Promote OU Research Data Management (RDM) services and tools within your unit
  • Provide discipline specific data management advice and support to colleagues
  • Attend and contribute to Library-run events 
  • Contribute to The Orb, Open Research Blog 
  • Offer feedback to Library Services to support RDM service development

What’s in it for me?

Data Champions will benefit from the following: 

  • Boost CV – increase funding opportunities by having RDM “expert” status  
  • Increase visibility – dedicated profile on the Data Champions webpage, opportunity to contribute to the successful Open Research Blog 
  • Opportunity to network with colleagues from across the OU 
  • Be instrumental in developing the OU Research Data Management Service and improving the culture of data sharing at the OU 
  • Receive 100 GB of data storage on ORDO as default 
  • Attendance for one Data Champion per year to the annual Figshare Fest conference in London 

Do I need to be a data expert?

No  – we’re looking for a range of people from different disciplines who work in different ways with different types of data. You could be a research student, early career researcher, professor, member of research support staff or an IT specialist. You might have experience compiling surveys, collecting lab-based data, harvesting big data or creating video data. Whoever you are and whatever your area of interest, we’d love to hear from you.

Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself a data expert, your knowledge in your specfic area is invaluable and training and support will be given.

What’s the time commitment?

We expect the Data Champion role to require a commitment of 1-3 hours a month, but this can be flexible according to the amount of time you are able to give.

How do I apply?

Send an email to library-research-support@open,ac,uk  by 31st July with the subject “Data Champions” stating what type of research you are involved with and whether there’s any particular contribution you’d like to make.

When do I start?

We are going to launch the programme with a Data Champions Forum in September. This will be an opportunity to meet the other Data Champions, find out more and help shape the Data Champions programme.