Friday, 9 March 2012

Departmental seminar on local resources... Delivered (tick)...

Introduced the one-stop-shop website to a packed house (about 70). Did a walk-through of the website, the DMPOnline and some documents I've written on metadata and short-term data management (Psychology specific and tailored to the University).

Got some awkward questions on why the University wasn't doing more re infrastructure. Had to hold my hands up and say you can only do what you can do with what you have available and what I'm telling you re Dropbox and the like is better than doing nothing and loosing your work!

On Monday the depts Director of Research will be sending around the URL to the one-stop-shop together with my Survey Monkey 10 question exist survey.

The projects external evaluation AT was also at the seminar to help gauge the projects impact.

Want to take a look at the website?

External evaluation visit...

The projects external evaluator is visiting today. She's been speaking to various groups and individuals I've been working with over the last six months and will be coming to the 1hr seminar I'm presenting at later.

She's speaking to people who I've helped produce a plan, to staff in the central University I've had contact with, to the departmental Director of Research and a few others. Hopefully I'll get stunning reviews ;-)

She's hoping to have her report done for the end of the month so that it can be rolled into the final project report for JISC.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

One-stop-shop website now in the CMS...

Just about got the transformed website into the University CMS. Not too much cussing (well a fair bit as the CMS is locked down tighter than the proverbial camel in a sandstorm).

Hopefully be a useful resource for the department once I've gone at the end of March. The idea behind the website, or one-stop-shop was just to have the bare bones of what you need to do for a grant application or anything else basic as regard RDM. There is a feeling there may be too much information out there. Where more detail is needed links to sources are there, e.g. the DCC, grant awarding bodies and the like.

I've tried write it as a "Do you know?" and "Help me..." style website. So as practical as possible then!
I'll be publicising at the Dept seminar I'm doing on Friday. Should be fun... just the Powerpoint to prepare amongst a million and one other things.

Want to take a look?

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Monkeying around with an exit survey...

Spent a few hours coming up with a 10 question exit survey that can be sent out after I do the departmental seminar on the 9th March. Hopefully it's short enough not to put people off. A 7 point Likert scale with questions trying to assess project impact. Where someone wants to say a bit more there's an opportunity to add comments.

It's also been suggested that it might be an idea to send a postgrad around with paper copies knocking on peoples doors. Might be an idea! It will help with assessing project impact no doubt and be good for the final report.

Copy below for you delication (sorry it's a bit small).

Monday, 20 February 2012

How to add metadata...

More how to guides I'm afraid. Turns out there's a pent up demand for simple "how to" guides so here's a new one on adding metadata to datasets. The main goal is to get DClinPsy trainees to start to annotate their data files so that supervisors and understand their raw data.

However the principles are sound and should apply to both students and researchers alike. The guide takes the form of a worked example in SPSS where various examples of bad practice are highlighed and fixed with little or no additional effort.

It also goes on to cover sensible filenames and administrative metadata. Again with practical examples that can be easily understood by readers.

Want to take a look?

Friday, 10 February 2012

All change... for the one-stop-shop website at least...

I've put a lot of content related to data management into the Sharepoint site but given the IT situation in the department there is some concern that once I've gone the "goodies" might disappear. Or in other words the server might stop working after the pixies who make it all work move out (insert your own metaphor - maybe you prefer hamsters on a wheel making the server work?).

Anyway we have decided that it would be better to get the content (AKA goodies) into the central University CMS where in theory someone else will be able to maintain them. So a few weeks of copying and pasting, uploading, swearing and sweating not to mention the ever present danger of RSI! So evidently the half day CMS course did come in handy after all :-)

Keeping the Sharepoint site for DClinPsy data and site files. More on this later.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Guidance on short term data management...

Given the resources available at Sheffield a lot of staff and students have been making use of Dropbox to transport files around. Whether this is a good idea is open to debate. But given it's viewed as a viable option I've put together a document on how to use either the University option or Dropbox.

In other words one document that covers doing the same thing in either myFileStore (Uni Sheffield support solution) or Dropbox.

The guide also goes into recovering accidentally deleted files, versioning and setting up Dropbox on managed desktops or your home computer. Also touches on confidentiality and NHS data. It also gives an idea of how much you can store on the University support option and on Dropbox.

Want to take a look?

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Sharepoint document management for DClinPsy trainees...

Just finished setting up a Sharepoint repository for DClinPsy trainees. They'll be able to store their data and site files that go alongside their thesis. Site files are basically who, did what, when, protocols and other practical details.

Their thesis is currently deposited in the:



Typically these are embargoed for 5 years. Plus the actual data and site files aren't uploaded anyway.

At the moment the data and site files are stored on DVD in the trainees paper file and locked in filing cabinets (again for 5 years). This has meant that they weren't often accessed (if at all). Given the Stapel fraud in Psychology staff will now be looking at data much more closely. This is a big cultural change in the department and a pretty major impact goal for the project.

Doing this has meant I've not only needed to develop the Sharepoint site but also write some more documentation along with screen grabs on how to use it.


Hopefully "Simples" as they say. I won't be doing the uploads so it needs to work without me around.

As screen grab from the instructions is shown below. Hopefully they are "Simples" and the site will be utilised for years to come!

Friday, 20 January 2012

Wellcome DMP finalised after a couple of days of feverish writing and chopping...

Made good use of the DCC's DMPOnline to construct the Wellcome fellowship RDMP I've been working on with SW. Fortunately it looks to have come good in the end :-)

A word limit of a 1,000 words for 7 questions seems a lot but it's pretty easy to eat up those allowances! Especially with something complex that needs to be explained again in the plan. In the actual grant application it's fine as you're assuming the audience will be fellow experts in the field. With the RDMP it's like trying to explain rocket science in a "for dummies" book metaphor. Can you explain what you're doing in 60 seconds or less? I get the feeling that RDMP's will be evaluated by IT literate staff who won't understand the discipline or terminology of the actual subject area. Hence everything needs to be dumbed down which helps focus the mind.

The plan will be going in at the end of the month along with the actual funding bid. Fingers crossed for SW! Like to see a copy?

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Initial Data Managment Plan interview...

Met today with SW who is putting in for a Wellcome grant in relation to neural network simulations of how rats learn from their environment. This involves creating a synthetic litter mate which will collect the same experiences as a live rat pup. For example, visual, audio, touch etc. A lot of video data will be created and shared and it is this that will form the basis for a neural model. This model will then be presented to different animals as sensory stimuli. Electrophysiological data will be collected to test the predictions of the neural network simulations.

Phew!  I'll let you off if that sounds a little complex.  In short, it's to see how rats learn and to see if we can mimic it using a computer model. If we can then we check the effectiveness by seeing how other live rats view our "robotic" litter mate and the subconscious level. Can we mimic it well enough for them not to be able to tell? Interesting stuff to do with learning and how we create simulations learning.

Lots of notes taken. Check. I'm not off to sit in a darkened room to start on a Wellcome plan. They allow a 1,000 words and you need to answer 7 bullet points they pose. SW will be helping to put this in plain English.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Roll up roll up…

We seem to have a taker (from the seminar) for advice on creating a Data Management Plan for a Wellcome Research Fellowship. This needs to be a 1,000 words and be done by the end of Jan 2012 to go in with the grant application. Meeting with him on the 11th to offer advice in my role as DMP guru. I suspect I’ll end up doing the majority of the writing. Can’t decide whether to use the DCC’s DMPonline, the US DMPTool or free writing. Wellcomes requirements are fairly free form.

No examples to follow as I can find. I suppose that why I’m writing exemplars -- DOH!