Friday, 16 December 2011

Seminar update…

The seminar went well and apparently was one of the best attended before Christmas. In fact it was pretty full! Hopefully we’ve scared enough people into letting us help them with their Data Management Plans! We’ll see in the New Year I guess?

Grab a copy of the slides (minus a video of a building on fire -- you get the idea).

The promotion went as follows:

Why do I need to know about data management?
Well, all research councils in the UK now require a data management plan with any bid for funding. NSF for example says the plan should take up two pages out of 15. Data management means sharing your data and not just looking after it!

How about if I told you sharing your data typically leads to a 69% increase in citations... or that it could lead to more collaboration with other researchers. On the less positive side you have to respond to Freedom of Information requests within 20 days and if data is requested it has to be in an "understandable" format, i.e. with well described metadata.

Whether you're an active researcher or a postgraduate student you owe it to yourself to find out more about data management as it will impact on your career a lot more than you might think in the very near future. We aim to offer practical advice and a concise path through the data management jungle.

Monday, 12 December 2011

SharePoint one-stop-shop under construction...

Spent as much “free” time as I can working on the one stop shop offering pithy practical advice. Trying to source as much as possible so that researcher can hit this and then go off and find all the crucial info they need. Gone for a “what?” and “how do I… approach”. Currently this site can only be viewed from within Sheffield.

Here’s a quick sneak peak:

Friday, 9 December 2011

IASSIST 2012 paper…

Submitted a paper for the 2012 IASSIST conference. The deadline was today as per ;-)  Hopefully it’s got there as the PHP form at their end was giving a 404 and I had to email it over!  Technology eh!!!

Monday, 5 December 2011

IDCC Workshop Bristol...

Straight from Nottingham to Bristol… well kind of. Travelled down on Sunday for an 8:30am start Monday. Decided just to go down for the one day otherwise another working week of 3 days gone for the whole meeting. So that could have been 2 working weeks out the office what with the launch meeting last week or half a working month = gulp!

Targeted the Monday as there we some talks on payback. That is, the REF. Which is the manna people seem to be interested in at the mo (again I was looking for leverage). Some interesting talks on what publishers are up to. Brian Hole was there again and had some sensible tempering comments. People from the Research Councils UK suggested some announcements on RDM would be coming in the New Year. An interesting stance from EPSRC who are saying institutions will need to sort this out or no one for a given institution will be able to apply for funding from them. Other councils place the onus on the grant applicant.

Nice to hear Martin Donnelly from the DCC say that they were using the guide to using DMPOnline I wrote at York as an exemplar for Psychology/ESRC and the tool itself.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

JISCMRD launch meeting...

We made the short trip to Nottingham for the two day programme launch event. There was a mixture of projects represented ranging from the bigger infrastructure projects to the eight smaller “boots on the ground” six months ones of which we are one. There was a lot of practical advice on offer, from Blogging with Brian Kelly to DCC Tools and UMF Software as a Service and the JANET Brokerage. The late afternoon saw all the projects presenting a poster outlining their work. We also use our poster as a flyer within the department as it makes for good publicity.

On the second day there was advice on gathering evidence of benefits and impact. This would seem to be the thing that Universities and researchers worry about the most from our prospective! Some good advice gratefully received.

Later parallel sessions focussed on some of the projects that were up and running. Brian Hole (Ubiquity Press) gave a pretty compelling reason for data papers to help spur on sharing of data. Researchers need and want credit for data and this seems like an ideal way for them to get extra citations. In short an easy sell and one I’ll be pushing!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

BPS poster submission…

Submitted a poster for the 2012 British Psychological Society Annual conference in London. This covers data management  and what we’re trying to do in Sheffield. Fingers crossed on it being accepted as it’s part of our dissemination strategy. As per submitted on the deadline day ;-)

No editing web pages until you’ve done the course laddy…

We needed an external website for the project or at least a page or so.  So time to bite the bullet and go on the University CMS training course. They use Polopoly from atex (me neither).  As with all CMS’s some good points and lots of bad ones. The more you know about how these things work the more they drive you nuts unfortunately. Hey ho.
At least we now have a single external facing webpage. Unfortunately I’m not deemed worthy enough to create them and can merely edit them after the basic course.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Memo from Director of Research to all staff goes viral…

The director of research for the department sends out a carefully crafted email on our behalf following up from the departmental staff meeting and publicising our forthcoming internal seminar.  The pithy email includes some memorable one liners that we wrote to hopefully spur people into contacting us for help.

Monday, 21 November 2011

New boy goes to first staff meeting…

Meets and greets at the staff meeting as I’m new to the department. Managed to get an elevator pitch for 5 mins at the end of the meeting and hand out a few flyers. No takers for either help planning or data storage and sharing. Quite a few people have been burnt in the past it would seem so a cool reception all round. There were requests for “copy and paste” templates for DMPs and “what can you do with my 20Tb of videos then” style questions.

Departmental seminar…

We’ve managed to get the graveyard slot to present at the last departmental seminar before Christmas due to a cancellation! We were scheduled to present on the 9th March 2012 which would have been quite ironic given that’s three weeks before the project’s due to finish. By way of publicity it ain’t great :-) We requested a slot the first week of the project in October so that’s some lead time.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Draft project plan and website template done for JISC...

Finally managed to nail a draft project plan and website template as per JISC requirements. The project plan alone weighed in at nearly 16 sides of A4. Nearly twice as long as the actual bid and took longer to write!

Can someone with a decade of experience help?

Make contact with the HRI in Sheffield. HRI = Humanities Research Institute. They help bidders write technical appendices, i.e. DMPs, for AHRC grants and also review for the same council. They’ve been doing this for a decade and advice on digital archiving in the humanities. Lots of good advice from them and some tips on for how long to store data for realistically from their point of view (7 years offer to people who go through them) and who to contact within Sheffield regarding storage (about £400 per Tb per year). A nice meeting on the 30th next to the Hendersons Relish factory :-)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Dell Poweredge arrives...

Our Dell Poweredge server arrives. More than likely take me the next week or so to setup what with the software to load on, RAID configuration, UPS and back-up drives. On it we’ll be running VMWare ESXi 5, Windows 2008 R2, SQL 2008 and Sharepoint 2010. We’re hoping to get the Dataverse repository software up and running at some point. With SharePoint providing the one-stop-shop for localised resources to do with RDM. Got to be electrically tested first of course…

Monday, 17 October 2011

About the project...

Welcome to the slightly belated DMSPpsych project blog! Behind the acronym are Dr Andrew Thompson and Dr Richard R. Plant. Andrew is a Clinical Psychologist and lecturer (project lead) whilst I myself work as Project Officer.

Both of us recognise it's often difficult and time consuming for individuals, research groups or even departments to follow a coordinated approach with regard to data management. So by working with researchers on a one-to-one basis, we hope to provide support and foster an atmosphere of collaboration.

As a result of this one-to-one support we hope to establish fundamental principles and best practice in research data management that can be applied at a local level. By local we mean resources that enable a researcher at Sheffield to do something concrete. Whether that be producing a plan for a funding bid or actually storing, describing and sharing data.

In short we aim to: 
  • To establish an infrastructure to facilitate appropriate data management planning culminating in a locally focused one-stop-shop website. This will contain exemplar data management plans that can be applied by active projects in the department and pointers to resources within University and further afield
  • To establish a culture of storage of data
  • Establish a mechanism and culture by which archived data can be (and is) used for future research
It's my first day on the job and I'll be working 3 days per week BTW! So that's about 4 working months on a 6 month project. Best type faster!!!