Correcting a break…

I recently broke my leg: to be precise a lateral tibial plateau fracture, which required an operation, plates and pins to put back together.  This means that until the end of August 2012, I shall be in a knee brace, unable to put weight on my right leg and moving around on crutches.  The discomfort and lack of mobility that results from this condition means that I shall largely be working from home.  One of the silver linings is that this gives me a chance to catch up with this neglected blog.

The last few months have been typically busy.  The Managing Research Data Strands of the recent JISC Digital Infrastructure 01/12 Call resulted in a set of projects developing RDM training materials and others looking at data publication: more about these in a later post.

A workshop was held at the end of March for the projects examining the challenges of data management planning in various disciplines, and by and large these projects have now completed.  Chris Rusbridge, formerly director of the Digital Curation Centre, is now preparing a summary and synthesis of these projects and others from the first Managing Research Data programme.

The recent Royal Society report, Science as an Open Enterprise, included under Recommendation 3 as a UK specific action:

b. JISC’s Managing Research Data programme, or a similar initiative, should be expanded beyond the pilot 17 institutions within the next five years. The aim of any initiative should be to support a coordinated national move towards institutional data management policies.  (p.73)

The shining thread which runs through the report is the need – intelligently – to improve the availability of research data for verification and reuse, and the recommendation noted here is a strong endorsement of the work being undertaken within the Managing Research Data programme.  The seventeen research data infrastructure projects have been making excellent progress, which can be followed in the very rich and informative blogs.  In collaboration with the DCC, I shall be running a workshop in September to allow projects to examine and discuss the progress which they are making towards developing the various components of research data services.

The Managing Research Data Programme Evidence Gatherers have been industrious and are liaising with the projects to support their work and to ensure that, as a programme, we have a strong evidence base to show the benefits which derive from improved research data management.  More on this to follow too.

Finally, there have been a number of important workshops and conferences in the last few months, organised variously by JISCMRD projects and by other organisations interested in this space.  At some of these I have given presentations and intend to share some of these – and the arguments they seek to advance – here over the next few weeks.