Upcoming Dealing with Data Conference and RDM Service Launch

The Edinburgh RDM team is a-buzz this week with preparations for the launch of our services, which will be carried out by the University’s Principal, Sir Timothy O’Shea in the Library next Tuesday morning, 26th August, 2014 with 120 stakeholders in attendance.

rdm-logo-finalAlthough the RDM Policy was passed by the University Court in May, 2011, and our RDM Roadmap work began in earnest in August 2012, it has taken until now to be sure our core services are ready for a formal launch. See this post by the RDM Services Coordinator for a recent snapshot of Roadmap progress.

The launch will be short and sweet–lasting no more than half an hour. But the event is enhanced by a mini-conference, featuring researchers discussing Dealing with Data from across the disciplinary spectrum. If they mention any of our services that will be a bonus for us! The programme is available now, and a summary will be posted after the event.

For those who want to follow live tweets, the hashtag will be #DWD2014. For those who attend, be sure and fill out the feedback form at https://www.survey.ed.ac.uk/dealing_data-feedback!

Robin Rice on behalf of Cuna Ekmekcioglu (RDM team)


Edinburgh supports trial data publication

I recently read in a Sense about Science tweet that a lone student asked the Principal of the University of Edinburgh if it would join the AllTrials Campaign and it became the first Scottish University to do so. Here’s his story – [Editor]

As a Nurse I frequently talk with patients about the treatments and medications they receive. These are often difficult conversations as it relies on the clinician having a library of background knowledge coupled with the most up-to-date data. Despite the wealth of knowledge that exists within the medical community there is an increasing body of research that highlights the large amount of clinical trial data that has gone unshared for many decades. This is the origin of the AllTrials campaign.

AllTrials logo

The best estimate is that around half of clinical trials have never been published. Recognising the need for change a group of academics founded AllTrials. AllTrials is an initiative headed by leading academic bodies such as the British Medical Journal, the Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine and the Cochrane Collaboration. AllTrials calls for all past and present clinical trials to be registered and their full methods and summary results reported.

As a Nursing graduate of The University of Edinburgh and a current masters student within the Nursing department I felt I should engage with my University about the issue of clinical trial data sharing and about the AllTrials campaign. I wrote to Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, the Principal of the University, who gave his support for AllTrials. As of July 2014 The University of Edinburgh became the first Scottish University to register its support for AllTrials. This move is inherently positive for Edinburgh, both as a global leader in health care and as an institution with a longstanding Edinburgh Data Library history. The campaign has had nearly 80,000 people sign its petition as well as just under 500 organisations register support.

This is an issue important issue for all of us. Show your support by signing the AllTrials petition.

Adam Lloyd
Masters of Nursing in Clinical Research student
The University of Edinburgh

The views expressed are my own and do not reflect the views of The University of Edinburgh, the AllTrials campaign or any of its affiliates.


RDM Roadmap: Completion of Phase 1

The Research Data Management (RDM) Programme is well underway with planning and pilot activity (phase 0 of the RDM Roadmap), and initial roll-out of primary services (phase 1) completed. Services include:

  • DMPonline – an online tool by the Digital Curation Centre that assists researchers to produce an effective data management plan (DMP) to cater for the whole lifecycle of a project
  • Research Data Blog – set up by the RDM Action Group to communicate progress on the RDM programme.
  • RDM Website – a One Stop Shop for all university RDM materials (FAQs, key messages, RDM planning guidance, service guides)
  • Research Data MANTRA – an online course designed for researchers or others planning to manage digital data as part of the research process
  • Edinburgh DataShare – the online digital repository of multi-disciplinary research datasets produced at the University of Edinburgh
  • DataStore – a new central facility to store data actively used in current research activities. DataStore provides all researchers with a free at point of use allocation (currently 0.5TB). Researchers can assign up to 50% (0.25TB) of their free individual allocation to shared project spaces. Additional capacity can be purchased above this, with support for very large data (>1PB) hosting available.

Phase 2: (June 2014 – May 2015) will see continued rollout and maturation of services. Services in development include:

  • the Data Asset Registry (DAR) – a catalogue of data assets produced by researchers working for the University of Edinburgh to aid discovery access and reuse
  • the Data Vault – a secure, private and long-term ‘vault’ of data that is only accessible by the creator or their representative

We are currently gathering requirements to inform design of the DAR and Data Vault services. Upcoming Roadmap milestones will subsequently tackle requisite interoperation between existing and planned RDM services.

There are a number of different groups within the university and outside with whom we need to communicate our RDM programme. These include research active staff, support and administrative staff, university committees and groups (research policy group, library and IT committees, knowledge strategy committee) as well as external collaborators and stakeholders such as funding bodies etc. This is being done through a variety of communication activities including a range of training programmes on research data management (RDM) in the form of workshops, seminars and drop in sessions to help researchers with research data management issues along with formal and bespoke awareness raising sessions within schools for research and support staff. The clear message that we want to communicate is that the University is committed to and has invested in RDM services, training, and support, and that the University is supporting researchers, encouraging good research practice, and effecting culture change.

The RDM Services will be formally launched by the Principal on 26th August, 2014 along with an associated conference ‘Dealing with Data’ which offers researchers the opportunity to present on any aspect of the challenges and advances in working with data, particularly research data with novel methods of creating, using, storing, visualising or sharing data.

Stuart Macdonald

RDM Services Co-ordinator