Category Archives: Research Data Management

Research Support WIN: RDM

Hello, I hope you’ve been enjoying (and surviving) this hot weather. I’ve been taking regular breaks from my computer to take full advantage of my children’s paddling pool in an effort to keep cool! A definite advantage of working from home!

In this blog post I’m going to talk about another Research Support Win, this time in the Research Data Management area of the service. This is a story about the continued support we have been offering one of our academics on a research project.

Autumn 2019: One of our researchers in WELS (Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies), Dr Kristina Hultgren, contacts the Research Support Team via our inbox requesting help with a Data Management Plan for a UKRI Future Leaders project. Kristina’s project explores why the use of English as a teaching language in non-English-speaking European countries is increasing, despite students struggling to understand it. The project, if approved, will require a huge amount of data collection, including up to 3,000 interviews as well as a large amount of documentary evidence, including reports, field notes, email communications and photographs. This was the first time we had been asked for help with a UKRI Future Leaders bid so I needed to take some time to familiarise myself with the requirements.

Kristina and I have several phone calls over the space of a week to, discussing the various practicalities of how to keep the data secure and whether and how she can share it at project end. Particular issues we need to consider are: data storage and transfer when the data is being collected in various countries; gaining consent to share data collected at institutions when anonymisation of the institution may be unfeasible; how to ensure data quality when data is being translated into English from other languages.

Spring 2020: Kristina’s funding bid for over £1.1 million is approved! I contact Kristina to offer my congratulations and help with setting up the project.

Winter 2020:  Amidst time constraints imposed by the Covid related school closures, Kristina and I manage to meet and talk through next steps for her project as she prepares to start data collection in 2021. We agree it would be useful if the Research Support Team could put together a template for a handbook which Kristina and other researchers working on large-scale research projects could use to ‘ensure that data would be stored, documented and managed throughout the project in a manner that would facilitate data sharing.

We also agree that once all of the research staff had been recruited across the different centres we will arrange a training session on data management, run by the Library online, with time to work collaboratively to ensure consistency in data management across the project.

Spring 2021: I contact Kristina with the good news that the brand new Research Data Management Handbook is now ready. She agrees to pilot it with her project and give us feedback that we can work on as she goes along.

Next steps: Kristina is currently recruiting to her project team. Once all investigators are in position we will set up an online workshop to cover all aspects of Research Data Management and sharing.

Reflections: Working with Kristina and seeing how her project progresses has been really enjoyable and this type of consultative work is definitely a highlight of my role in supporting Research Data Management. This experience has given me the opportunity to be innovative, trying out different approaches to the support we provide and I hope that the RDM Handbook designed during this process will continue to be useful for other researchers.

If you’d like some help with writing a Data Management Plan or with setting up data management processes for your new research project, please get in touch with the Research Support Team via our team inbox.

 

 

Research Data Management service review 2020-21

I’ve been looking back at the statistics for the RDM service so far this academic year (since September 2020).

Despite running the service remotely due to the ongoing pandemic, we have seen a growth in users of our data repository ORDO, as well as increased demand for data management plan reviews. We’ve also had great attendance for our series of webinars.

We’re now starting to look at service developments for the coming year, and we are confident that the numbers in a year’s time will look even better!

 

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New! Research Data Management Handbook

When you’re working on a research project as a team a consistent approach to data management is very important to ensure that data is stored securely, documented accurately and everyone is able to easily find and access the documents they need.

Our new Research Data Management Handbook is a practical guide designed to help you to create and record processes for collecting, processing, storing and managing research data. It is particularly useful for anyone embarking on a research project which involves working in a team (with internal or external colleagues).

The handbook takes the form of a template embedded with guidance and links to useful resources. Completing it is an extremely useful exercise at the beginning of any research project to ensure data is managed effectively throughout.

Download the Research Data Management Handbook now!

If you’d like any further advice or have completed the Handbook and would like some feedback please do not hesitate to get in touch.

 

UK Data Service Introductory Training Series 2021

The UK Data Service specialises in the management and archiving of research data in the social sciences. They are running a comprehensive series of free online training over the coming months which may be of interest to readers of this blog.

See below for these events in Spring 2021 and see the UK Data Service’s events pages for a full list of training events.

The workshops in the series will have a new practical element.

To book a place visit the UK Data Service events page or click on the links above.

Recordings of UK Data Service webinars can be found on the UKDS YouTube channel and slides can be found on the past events pages.

Thinking about social media data management…

Are you planning to use social media data for your research? If so, a recent talk by Ben Wills-Eve at Lancaster Data Conversations may interest you. Entitled ‘Social Media Data Management for Digital Humanities,’ Ben takes you through some of things you should have on your radar when using data from social media platforms like Twitter. Ethical use of data, adhering to data usage policies, copyright, data processing, access to data via APIs (application programming interfaces), data storage, coding/programming, are some of the areas Ben talked about. Before using data from Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media sites it is essential that you read and understand their policies first.

Attendees were signposted to some useful guidance, such as the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) documents on ethical internet research, and reference was made to an interesting paper on the challenges of using historical Twitter data, and deleted Tweets, ethically. The Programming Historian site may also be useful to explore. Not only are the tutorials free and Open Access, they could be just what you need to enhance digital skills you already have, or to learn new ones! The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter Data is an example of what they offer.

If you have any queries about your Data Management Plans, or want to find out more about the ethics of obtaining research data, please visit our Library Research Support website or get in touch with the team.

 

Managing your data during a pandemic

We’re all embracing our new co-workers

The world as we know it has changed, and it seems unlikely that we will be returning to what we previously considered “normal” for some time.

While you’re working from home during this period you might feel as though conducting your research is harder, or even impossible. However, you now plenty of time to get on top of managing your research data! Here are some top tips from the Library Research Support Team:

Four Golden Rules of Data Management

To celebrate Love Data Week (10-14 February 2020), we are launching a series of videos titled “Four Golden Rules of Data Management”. These short videos look at examples of data management gone wrong which have hit the headlines and make recommendations for how these disasters could have been avoided.

In the first video, we look at the problems encountered by the Venice Time Machine project, and the importance of writing a data management plan.

Stay tuned for more videos in the series!