RDM at the University of Northampton: state of play

Over the last three years the University has been implementing its roadmap for research data management (RDM).  This post outlines some of the work that has been undertaken and describes where we are now with respect to support for RDM at Northampton.

The University’s RDM roadmap was created in response to a demand from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) that Universities in receipt of EPSRC funding must conform to a set of  expectations concerning the management of research data. Institutions were (by April 2012) expected to produce a roadmap outlining how they would meet these expectations and then (by April 2015) to implement that roadmap.

researchers at workAlthough the EPSRC requirements provided the initial impetus, it made sense that Northampton’s roadmap should represent good practice for all research areas.  A key recommendation was that the implementation of the roadmap should be overseen by a Research Data Working Group comprising representatives of Research and Enterprise Committee, all six Schools and relevant Professional Services.  This group met three times over the 2013-2014 academic year and was responsible for reviewing the University’s Research Data Policy; developing a set of RDM principles and responsibilities to help researchers; and producing guidance to be integrated with the data management tool DMPonline.

Alongside the working group, staff from University Records Management and the LLS Research Support team were working with researchers to develop services and support for RDM.

Where we are now:

University RDM policy and procedure:

The following documents describe the University of Northampton’s policy framework for research data management:

Research data storage:

TUNDRA2 is the University’s recommended secure facility for the management of research data.  TUNDRA2 supports:

  • the registration, deposit, storage, retention of and access to digital research data (excluding video files);
  • a high degree of control over access, with data owners being able to assign permissions at various levels (e.g. to individual files or folders or to individual people or named groups);
  • file sharing between researchers at Northampton and elsewhere;
  • the creation and management of basic metadata for both files and folders;
  • the tracking and retention of multiple versions of files;
  • long term preservation of research data and (optional) open access via metadata records in NECTAR.

TUNDRA2 is supported by IT Services and the University Records Management Unit.

Data management planning:

DMPonline is the University’s recommended tool for data management planning.  This post describes how to access university-specific guidance when completing your plan.  Other resources and tools for data management planning are described here.

RDM guidance:

Support for RDM is available at the university from several sources:

  • The Research Support Hub publishes regular posts on aspects of RDM, including information about tools and resources, funder policies and requirements, sources of support and so forth.
  • The University Records Management team will advise on the use of TUNDRA2 for research data; the selection, retention and review of datasets for preservation; and matters relating to Data Protection and Freedom of Information.
  • The Research and Strategic Bidding Office can help you comply with funders’ RDM requirements when you are bidding for funding.
  • IT Services can advise on costings for data storage and should always be consulted if you expect to generate unusually large or otherwise non-standard datasets.
  • The LLS Research Support Team runs workshops on RDM as part of the Graduate School’s PGR and ECR Skills Development Programme and is always happy to take questions on data management planning.

For further information on any of the above feel free to contact nectar@northampton.ac.uk.


Posted on August 21, 2015, in Library, Support and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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