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Research Data @Essex

This project, funded under the Jisc Managing Research Data 2 Programme, piloted a research data management infrastructure for the University of Essex. It has built on the Archive's existing work with Jisc and ESRC on managing and sharing data.

overview

 

project outputs

 

OVERVIEW

The Research Data @Essex project, funded under the Jisc Managing Research Data Programme 2011-2013, piloted the development of a research data management and sharing infrastructure for the University of Essex.

We developed an institutional research data repository, Essex Research Data (built on the EPrints institutional repository software; and in collaboration with the EPrints team at Southampton released the data repository app 'ReCollect' via the EPrints bazaar. This app allows institutions to set up their own EPrints-based data repository.

Extensive in-house customisation was done to make the EPrints software - initially developed for hosting research publications - more suitable for storing and presenting research data.  This was released as an App for the EPrints bazaar called ReCollect. By April 2014 this had been taken up for piloting by 7 institutions and the UK Data Service launched its new ESRC repository, ReShare, based on the EPrints ReCollect software.

Development has focused on expanding the EPrints metadata profile to allow the capture of detail necessary for describing a wide diversity of research data collections, while also meeting standards relevant to UK Higher Education.

The metadata profile adopted is based on DataCite (2012) and the European INSPIRE metadata schema (INSPIRE, 2009), and is compliant with the international specification Data Documentation Initiative 2.1. (DDI, 2011), used by the UK Data Archive and social science data archives around the world.

In addition, the user interface was adapted to showcase complex collections consisting of many files and associated metadata, alongside a refined deposit workflow. Work also included the evaluation and selection of suitable licensing agreements for research data; methodologies for attaching persistent identifiers to the data collections, including DataCite Digital Object Identifiers; and the development of a user guide for preparing and depositing research data in such institutional repository.

The project team, led by the UK Data Archive, included staff from Information Systems and Services (ISS), the Research and Enterprise Office (REO) and Records Management at the University of Essex.

We worked closely with four of the University's research-rich departments: Biological Sciences, Essex Business School, Language and Linguistics, and Computing and Electronic Systems. This involved evaluating current research data management and sharing practices, as well as ingesting representative sample data into the pilot repository, including proteomics and bio-imaging data, socio-linguistic data, artificial intelligence data and management research data. Close working with researchers ensured ample testing and polishing of the software.

Besides the repository development, the project also developed an institutional data management policy for the University and a roadmap for compliance with the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) policy framework on research data. Data management guidance and training are also provided for the University's research community.

 

PROJECT OUTPUTS

The Research Data @Essex final report describes the projects's activities, methodology, outcomes and outputs, the lessons learnt, the project's impact and our recommendations for the future.

Essex Research Data repository and ReCollect app

We developed a pilot institutional research data repository, Essex Research Data, for the University of Essex, built on EPrints repository software.

Extensive in-house customisation was done to make the EPrints software - initially developed for hosting research publications - more suitable for storing and presenting research data:

In collaboration with the EPrints team at Southampton we also developed the data repository app 'ReCollect' for the EPrints bazaar. This app allows institutions to set up their own EPrints-based data repository with expanded metadata profile for describing research data and a redesigned data catalogue for presenting complex collections.

The repository development and ingest report describes the development rationale, the metadata profile, the ingest testing with sample data and the consultation with Essex researchers and external specialists.

Research data management policy for the University of Essex

The University of Essex Research Data Management Policy and route map for compliance with the EPSRC Policy Framework were developed as part of this project and published in March 2013.

A University of Essex sustainability plan for data management infrastructure was developed by the project steering group, based on the project findings and expertise gained.

Research data management support and training

Data management planning guidance has been published on the website of the University of Essex Research and Enterprise Office.

A regular programme of Research Data Management workshops takes place for University of Essex researchers as part of the University of Essex Learning and Development programme.

A staff survey was held at the University of Essex during February 2012 to examine current practices and needs at the University of Essex with regards to data management planning, data sharing and a  data repository. The report, summary results and questionnaire describe the findings of this survey, to which 13 percent of research staff responded.

Working with research hubs

A data inventory was carried out within four pilot departments to assess researchers' data management practices, needs and expectations.

We developed a Data Inventory Form, derived from an earlier data management practices assessment carried out with research centres as part of the Archive's DMP-ESRC project in 2011, and also based on the Data Asset Framework methodology.

The report Research Data Management at the University of Essex describes the findings of this assessment.

The four pilot departments are:

  • Biological Sciences (proteomics and bio-imaging data)
  • Essex Business School (management data)
  • Language and Linguistics (second language acquisition and socio-linguistics data)
  • Computer Science and Electronic Engineering (artificial intelligence data)

Events and presentations

25 - 26 March 2013, Jisc Managing Rearch Data Programme Workshop: achievements, challenges and recommendations, Aston Business School

Research Data @Essex final poster

Research Data @Essex presentation

14-17 January 2013, Research Data @Essex poster, 8th International Digital Curation Conference

24 October 2012, Jisc Managing Research Data Programme meeting, Nottingham

Research Data @Essex poster

Data Management Planning presentation

Triage presentation

Repository presentation

Metadata presentation

13 July 2012, Opening up research data at Essex: experiments with EPrints, EPrints User Group, OR2012, Edinburgh

21 May 2012, Research Data @Essex presentation, DCC Roadshow, Imperial College, London

13 December 2011, Research Data @Essex presentation, Research Data Managers' Forum, University of Essex

1 December 2011, Research Data @Essex poster, Jisc Managing Research Data Programme launch

Archive contribution

The Research Data Management Support Services Section of the UK Data Archive manage this project as part of their wider remit to provide bespoke research data management support and training for social sciences researchers and research centres.  The team work closely with relevant University staff from the research office and computing systems.

Principal investigator:  Louise Corti
Funder:  Jisc
Dates:  January 2011 - March 2013
Contact:  datasharing@data-archive.ac.uk
Links:  Jisc Managing Research Data programme
Research Data @Essex blog


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