05 February 2010

RDMF4: Agenda Available


The agenda for the fourth DCC-RIN Research Data Management Forum, taking place in Manchester on 10th and 11th March 2010 with a theme of "Dealing with Sensitive Data: Managing Ethics, Security and Trust", is now online at

Event registration is also available through this page.

Speakers at the event include: Professor Iain Buchan, Professor of Public Health Informatics and Director of NIBHI, University of Manchester; Nicky Tarry, Research Data Transfer Security, Department for Work and Pensions; Kevin Ashley, Head of Digital Archives Development, University of London Computer Centre; Melanie Wright, UK Data Archive Secure Data Service; Veerle Van den Eynden, Research Data Management Support Services, UK Data Archive.

Please note that delegate numbers are strictly limited, so early registration is advised.

Kind regards,


05 January 2010

Research Data Management Forum 4: registration open

The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) and Research Information Network (RIN) are pleased to announce the rescheduled fourth meeting of the Research Data Management Forum.

This event will have the theme "Dealing with Sensitive Data: managing ethics, security and trust", and will be held on 10th-11th March 2010, at Chancellors Hotel and Conference Centre, Manchester.

Speakers include:

- Nicky Tarry, Research Data Transfer Security, Department for Work and Pensions
- Kevin Ashley, Head of Digital Archives Development, University of London Computer Centre
- Melanie Wright, UK Data Archive Secure Data Service
- Veerle Van den Eynden, Research Data Management Support Services, UK Data Archive

Registration for this event is now open, via http://www.dcc.ac.uk/events/data-forum-2010-march/

Please note that delegate places are limited, so early booking is advised.

20 October 2009

Skilling Up to Do Data

Colleagues may be interested in an output from the second DCC-RIN Research Data Management Forum: "Skilling Up to Do Data: Whose Role, Whose Responsibility, Whose Career?" which is published in the current edition of the International Journal of Digital Curation (http://www.ijdc.net)


What are the roles necessary to effective data management and what kinds of expertise are needed by the researchers and data specialists who are filling those roles? These questions were posed at a workshop of data creators and curators whose delegates challenged the DCC and RIN to identify the training needs and career opportunities for the broad cohort that finds itself working in data management – sometimes by design but more often by accident. This paper revisits previous investigations into the roles and responsibilities required by a "data workforce", presents a representative spectrum of informed opinion from the DCC Research Data Management Forum, and makes some recommendations for raising capability, capacity and status.

Best regards,


21 July 2009

Web archiving and data management

Web archives need to become a seamless part of the experience of using the web; they are the web's corporate memory. This thought encapsulated much of the spirit of a conference that I attended on 21 July on the enduring web, an event organised by JISC, the Digital Preservation Coalition and the UK Web Archiving Consortium.

The conference was a well illustrated overview of the challenges facing the development of a usable and resilient infrastructure for ensuring the perenniality of web content. Quite a task actually, and I was particularly interested in the arguments relating to what material to select in the first place for archiving and preservation. Of course, decisions about what to keep and what to discard have long been everyday stuff for archivists, but when applied to the dynamic, restless and often ephemeral nature of web content, the challenge is particularly acute. Since much web activity is about illustrating work in progress and preserving discourse, to what extent should archiving be documenting the authorial and editing processes?

I was struck by how much such issues resemble those relating to data management. A number of questions facing data archivists should also be familiar to data creators and managers: questions relating to selection, as mentioned above, but also to the curation of material which constantly changes as it is enriched and reformulated; which always stands the risk of being lost forever because it is not properly looked after; and which is not always properly recognised as a scholarly output. Interestingly, the analogy with data management was not made at the meeting, which was attended essentially by librarians and archivists (I had to leave early; perhaps the issue was raised at the end of the day). Could web archivists and data managers learn from each other? Are they actually talking to each other?

20 July 2009

Special Workshops at Repository Fringe 2009

Two special workshops for repository managers and others interested in data curation are to take place during Beyond the Repository Fringe,
30-31 July, University of Edinburgh.

Please sign up in advance through the event registration form (URL below). No fee is required.

1) DISC-UK DataShare Workshop
Data Requirements and Digital Repositories, 2-5pm, Thursday, 30 July.

This workshop will be based upon the DISC-UK DataShare project's Policy-making for Research Data in Repositories: A Guide. The guide is intended to be used as a decision making and planning tool for institutions with digital repositories in existence or in development that are considering adding research datasets to their digital collections. It also can help articulate the benefits of sound data management practices as well as the goals of data sharing and long term access.
Contact: robin.rice@ed.ac.uk.

2) Digital Curation Centre Associates Network Workshop Digital Curation 101 'Lite' 10am - 1pm, Friday 31 July

Research Councils and funding bodies are increasingly requiring evidence of adequate and appropriate provisions for data management and curation in new grant funding applications. This half-day workshop delivered by the Digital Curation Centre is aimed at researchers and those who support researchers and want to learn more about how to develop sound data management and curation plans. The workshop will provide a brief introduction to digital curation, the range of activities and roles that should be considered when planning and implementing new projects, and an overview of tools that can assist with curation activities.
Contact: info@dcc.ac.uk

For further information about the two workshops see http://wiki.repositoryfringe.org/index.php/The_Sessions#Special_Events

Contributions are still welcome for the event. Register at http://beyondtherepositoryfringe.eventbrite.com/

Beyond the Repository Fringe 2009

Place: Informatics Forum, University of Edinburgh
Date: 30th/31st July 2009
Home page: http://www.repositoryfringe.org
Wiki: http://wiki.repositoryfringe.org/
Email: rf09@ed.ac.uk
Hashtag: #RF09

Sponsored by JISC, the Beyond the Repository Fringe 2009 event will be hosted by the University of Edinburgh with support from the Digital Curation Centre, the School of Informatics, EDINA, and Information Services, as well as UKOLN and EPrints.

Keynote speakers are Ben O'Steen & Sally Rumsey, and Clifford Lynch.

15 May 2009

The Policy-making for Research Data in Repositories: A Guide
is intended to be used as a decision-making and planning tool for
institutions with digital repositories in existence or in development
that are considering adding research data to their digital collections.

The guide is a public deliverable of the JISC-funded DISC-UK DataShare
project (2007-2009), http://www.disc-uk.org/datashare.html, which
established institutional data repositories and related services at the
partner institutions: the Universities of Edinburgh, Oxford and
Southampton. It is a distilled result of the experience of the partners,
together with Digital Life Cycle Research & Consulting. The guide is one
way of sharing our experience with the wider community, as more
institutions expand their digital repository services into the realm of
research data to meet the demands of researchers who are themselves
facing increasing requirements of funders to make their data available
for continuing access.

Policy-making for Research Data in Repositories: A Guide can be downloaded from:

Stuart Macdonald
DISC-UK DataShare
EDINA National Data Library

13 May 2009

RDMF follow-up re. data citation

Some of you may have seen David Shotton's message re. semantic publishing/data citations/DOIs etc -

The following 'enhanced' article is a fine example of how data can be cited, accessed, with implications for accreditation etc - http://imageweb.zoo.ox.ac.uk/pub/2008/plospaper/latest/
- the paper "includes interactive figures, mashups with Google Maps and with data from related publications, live links to full-text references, downloadable datasets in Excel files relating to figures in the paper, downloadable RDF metadata files describing the publication and the references it cites, and a separate Document Summary, all with their own DOIs." Is it a criticism to say that it is too interactive!

Stuart Macdonald
RIN Disciplinary Case Studies - http://dcc.ac.uk/case-studies-in-life-sciences/
EDINA National Data Centre & Edinburgh University Data Library