More thoughts about the University of Leicester Research Data Management Principles.
Research inception and planning
2. Data management planning is an integral, essential and dynamic component of the research process
from inception and should include provision for the selective long term custodianship of research data.
3. Research proposals should include all possible recovery of direct costs of research data management
where the funder allows this.
Three questions spring to mind:
- What do I need to do? (Funder requirements, employer requirements, perhaps requirements of external data sources or a journal)
- What would I like to do?
- How do I do it?
As last time talking about RDM Principles: Scope is this funder required, is it best practice? Does is bring a personal benefit to a researcher?
Who is responsible for selective long term custodianship of research data. Who remains responsible at the end of a project? (Hint: We are setting up a new Research Data Repository under the auspices of the University Library with partners. I note the piece above about costs: do we offer a bill to those who can pass it on? What about chargeable value added services?)
We have materials Research Data / Create which include data management planning and Data Planning guidance documents for many of our major funders. Two different places. Must make sure they are linked and explained.
I think people with oversight of large projects might need different amounts of information and at different levels of generality of specificity from small numbers of people looking at a narrow but deep research question.
We link to various parts of funders sites, which change, including links to their bid processes. Some bodies such as RCUK also collect together such links. Do we point to their collections of funder links, do our own or both? If both, are we duplicating or giving users more confusion of apparent choice between two paths going to the same place?
I think here we want to be loud and clear about why funders want data management planning and how this aligns (or doesn’t) with the best practice of a professional researcher that helps them produce highest quality research: peer review, transparency, verification, trust etc. not to mention being organised to reduce admin overhead in the longer term and give more peace of mind.
I’ll listen and watch researchers where I may to learn what their motivations are and what their workflows are like and what they want their workflows to be like.
I’m doing a content audit of our RDM pages and hope to do some usability testing with real live researchers to help answer some of my questions.