Research at Risk

Research data spring showcase

Two years ago we launched the research data spring initiative. It has been challenging but a most exciting experience. From 70 ideas, and together with a group of brilliant and committed people, we worked and developed 16 projects. In the last phase, the teams have developed and enhanced 6 different tools to help researchers and research support officers manage better their data.

Besides the enthusiasm, the ideas, the time and the money, one of the most useful things in this initiative were the workshops. Many had the chance to meet and form new teams to tackle critical issues. So we decided to have one more event at the end of the initiative: a showcase to celebrate all those who participated. The aim of the showcase is to meet, network, share progress, demonstrate the tools, and help each other solve any remaining blockers. Along with the research data spring projects, we are also inviting other project teams and initiatives within universities across the UK that are working on developing tools to manage research data.

The showcase agenda

The research data spring showcase is taking place at the University of Birmingham on the 20th of October. To book your place, follow this link. If you would like to talk about your tools/project at the event, then get in touch with me directly (

As a day event, we are structuring it in blocks that will include lightning talks from the individual projects, followed by 40 minutes of networking. We will also run a number of 20-minute-long demonstrations throughout the day.

An initial list of projects have been invited to talk about the tools that they have been developing; in no particular order: DataVault, DMA Online, Data2Paper, Artivity, Clipper, Filling in the digital preservation gap, ORDS, BRISSKit, ChemBioHub, OPD etc.

Research data spring update

The final 6 research data spring projects have been working hard, especially these past couple of months, to finalise and even launch the tools and applications they have been developing. Here is what they have been up to:

Artivity has developed a Mac OS version, ready to be downloaded and used.  The team tested the tool with a few artists and one of them has shared some thoughts about the application, which we will be publishing later this week. More details on the Artivity progress are on Athanasios Velios’ blog post.

DMA Online are changing the backend to make the web app more powerful. The team had a lot of local and international interest, even from Africa. Check out a demo of the dashboard here.

Data2Paper, previously known as ‘giving researchers credit for their data’ have been working on business and operational models. Here are some thoughts from Holly at F1000Research, and watch out for Fiona Murphy’s blog on the LSE Impact blog within the next few days.

DataVault has been implemented at University of Edinburgh and a working version is being prepared for Manchester University. The software is open source and available from and

Clipper team are forming a limited company to carry out the work on the application in a more sustainable way. See their latest updates, outreach and prototypes.

Filling in the digital preservation gap have been working on a proof-of-concept at the Universities of York and Hull. You can find more details on Jenny Mitcham’s blog.


That research data spring is coming to an end does not mean the participating projects are sealed. We are working with each team to ensure that over the next year, these tools will be taken up more widely and will improve processes within the institutions where they serve.