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Notes from the second Jisc Research Data Network event

Jisc held their second Research Data Network event in Cambridge. I went along to take notes.

Danny Kingsley gave an overview of why data sharing is important, which was useful as introduction for those new to this, and a refresher of first principles to the more experienced.

The day then moved into parallel sessions on aspects of the network's activity.

The Research Data Shared Service is an initiative to help intuitions with RDM infrastructure. Jisc research suggests the priority for universities is addressing the digital preservation gap. Consequently, Jisc are looking at providing data repository and long-term preservation services as well as considering how a service could integrate with existing CRIS systems and repositories. This will take place in a "University of Jisc" that allows a testing environment using research data.

Jisc are developing templates and guidance for publishers on creating a research data policy which can then adapt to their journals. They are working with Springer Nature who are trying to fit their 3000 journals to into one of four types of data policy, ranging from encouraged to mandatory sharing and availability criteria.

Cambridge's Research Data support service provided insight into engaging researchers in research data management. Their initial compliance message was not working, so they switched to a positive benefits message. This is underpinned by "adequate provisions": online information, consultancies, reviewing data management plan, and training sessions. They also invest resources in advocacy and outreach including a "democratic" approach involving researchers in shaping the service and policies.

Jisc are developing a "core" metadata profile for research data. The profile is based on focus group testing, and integration with existing standards. The aim is to encourage better quality metadata submissions from researchers, with "gold, silver, and bronze" thresholds.

The final session introduced Jisc's template business case for RDM support. This is intended to allow institutions to adapt a structured case for supporting RDM services that can be presented to university management. The case covers the economic benefits of data sharing and preservation, along with institutional and researcher benefits, with a focus on numbers. My particular favourite: UK universities hold an estimated 450 petabytes of research data. The case will be available this autumn.

Should you have further interest in their activities, Jisc have a Research Data Network website and presentations from the day are also available.

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