Published September 22, 2021 | Version v1
Presentation Open

A Roadmap to collaboratively address RDM challenges

  • 1. University of Exeter


Research Data Management (RDM) and open data represents one of the main challenges faced by Higher Education Institutions as it requires compliance with ethical codes, responsible research, data protection, journal requirements and funder/institutional policies. In addition to these external drivers, RDM support was being delivered by dispersed teams across this university that can lead to a disjointed support, affecting infrastructure and tools, and does not reflect the institutional commitment towards RDM.

A task and finish group, chaired by an academic, was set up to address these issues by reviewing existing practice to support RDM to co-ordinate activity and to identify future developments.  Working collaboratively and interdisciplinarity, it was comprised of different elements of professional services involved in supporting RDM across the university. The group worked across seven strategic areas: Policies & Leadership; Relation to research assessment procedures; Advocacy & Support; Curation & Preservation; Infrastructure & Tools; Intellectual Property & Contracts; Ethics and accountability. And focused on these four activities of the research lifecycle (including both researchers and research support staff): Planning; Active Data Infrastructure; Data Stewardship and Research Data Support.

The main goal was to deliver a RDM roadmap to improve support, infrastructure and services provided to researchers. To achieve this, it was necessary to understand how RDM support was being delivered and the research lifecycle workflow for funded projects works, recognize roles and responsibilities, and understand researchers’ needs through a survey. Main conclusions are that infrastructure, ethics, data sharing and open data are the main challenges researchers face. Training and guidance were the principal suggestions made. A workflow was drawn to represent and understand the diversity of processes (funded research, digital humanities) and an infographic was made available to support researchers in the research process, including systems. Roadmap actions focus on how to engage with researchers to better support them in a collaborative approach providing comprehensive support through a diversity of workflows, needs and systems

This lightning talk aim to share good practices by presenting a different model through collaboration, engaging elements at various levels, that enabled interoperability across communities whilst supporting diversity of workflows and systems in the research community. It presents the work developed, achievements, outcomes and deliverables, key actions and lessons learned. It brings experiences and knowledge to align RDM strategy with research assessment that can be useful for other organizations that look synergies and continuous improvement, are conscious of the importance of responsible research, legal aspects in RDM and how interdisciplinary collaboration and interoperability across services can improve RDM support.


Sofia Fernandes_OSFAIR2021_lightning talk.pdf

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