Research data shared service – March meeting

Last week, around 40 representatives from research data shared service (rdss) pilot institutions participated in an rdss workshop. There were a number updates on the progress of the service: market research, costing, hiring, contracts, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), engagement strategies. And a few exercises: a temperature check on the project, brainstorming legal and business case challenges; how to engage researchers, what data storage requirements the institutions have and what other use cases such as records management could fit with the service.  All in all, we thought the meeting went well, and as always there are a number of take-home messages and actions.

Most of the research data shared service work in alpha stage will focus on:

  • Building and testing preservation, repository and data storage components within University of Jisc, where the enhancements and integrations will be developed and tested
  • Delivering and linking the preservation, repository and storage components for all pilots
  • Integration of repository, preservation and storage components with external systems, such as ORCID, DataCite, IRUS Data UK and the research data discovery service
  • Integration of these three components with other institutional systems, such as CRIS, and with an institutional repository, where that is already in place
  • Defining the metrics and the interface, including dashboards and API for the reporting application
  • Establishing a solid technical base and evaluating the user experience of these components.

research data shared service

Some updates from the pilot day:

  • We are aiming to be more clear about the offer and benefits as we build and test the baseline product in the next two phases – alpha and beta
  • We are establishing a subgroup within the pilots that will work on costing models
  • Pilots will start testing alpha MVP components from March 2017, with components with longer development paths being delivered for testing in June 2017.
  • We are running market research with non-pilots (watch this space, I will publish a summary of our findings so far within the next week)
  • We are collaborating with other services at Jisc to streamline aspects of the service, including Safe Share for sensitive data handling and evaluating the use of the Jisc Enterprise Data Warehouse to ensure that reporting on research data management can be integrated with other Jisc service dashboards
  • There will be an expansion of pilot to examine the use of the preservation infrastructure to meet wider use cases from July (watch this space for more details!)

The retrospective exercise ran by our new project manager Nick Lonergan, resulted in some really good positives and constructive negatives.

The positives:

  • Great team
  • The centralised approach is working well
  • Delivery is timely

The constructive negatives:

  • Communication could be more regular
  • More visibility of project governance and how the project dovetails with other Jisc services
  • Costs and risk management needs to be clearer

One of the messages that came up a few times during the day was in regards to testing the service with the end-users, that is, the research staff, as they will play a big part in determining whether an institution buys into a new service. Expect more on this in the upcoming testing phase.

The next pilot meeting will be taking place at the end of May. And the next Research Data Network event is on the 27-28 June in York. See you there!

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