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The UK's largest digital collection of social sciences and population research data

Data management training for researchers

This project, funded as part of the ESRC's Researcher Development Initiative, provided practical training for students, researchers and support staff on key issues pertinent to managing and sharing social science research data.

The project provided both a set of training materials and a programme of workshops around the country which focused on activities in all aspects of 'data handling'. Data handling is an area of need recognised across the UK.

Training focused on the core skills that would benefit from becoming an integral part of all postgraduate training programmes. This would maximise the impact of a researcher's own research but also foster greater appreciation of the use of secondary sources. The topic areas covered:

  • why and how to share research data
  • ethics, consent and confidentiality when sharing research data
  • data copyright and the use of existing data resources
  • data description, contextualisation and documentation
  • data formats and software
  • data storage, back-up and security

While the project sought to engage with trainee and new researchers it also ran 'train the trainer' sessions with senior research, lecturing and front-line staff in universities such as librarians, IT staff and local ethics committee coordinators.

A programme of workshops was held around the country between June 2010 and September 2011, with a number of travel bursaries available for postgraduate students. These workshops used hands-on, practical training methods based on expertise, and archived data sources from the UK Data Archive. Reusable workshop materials were collated into a publication: Managing and sharing data: training resources.

Archive contribution

The Research Data Management Support Services Section of the UK Data Archive managed this project as part of their wider remit to provide bespoke research data management support and training for social sciences researchers and research centres.

Principal Investigator: Louise Corti
Funder: ESRC
Dates: April 2010 - September 2011
Contact: Research Data Management