Research Data Management – a new route for Jorum

As a partner institution to Jisc’s DaMSSI-ABC project, just one of the Jisc Managing Research Data Programme projects, Jorum’s main task was two-fold. Firstly, in conjunction with the DaMSSI-ABC team, to create a classification scheme to improve discoverability of open Research Data Management (RDM) training resources; and secondly, create a sustainable ‘portal’ within Jorum to showcase the resources of the Jisc RDMTrain projects. This new ‘portal’ will also host existing and future RDM training resources. The result of these efforts is the creation of a new Research Data Management collection which will sit alongside our existing collections for FE, HE and Re:Source.


Why has Jorum done this?

Jisc considers it a priority to promote and support good research data management and sharing for the benefit of UK Higher Education and Research. Jorum naturally wants to align itself to Jisc policy while at the same time fulfilling the needs of the Jorum community. This is because RDM training materials do not necessarily map exactly to one of the HE subject classifications.

The future

Although currently the collection only contains a handful of resources, among them the outputs of Jisc RDMTrain projects, as the collection grows, the extra descriptive information will streamline the process of discovering the most appropriate resources for users of different levels and subject backgrounds looking for specific RDM skills. The full benefit of the new collection will be realised from September, when Jorum launches its new website offering faceted browsing and customisable usage reports.

Want to be a part of this?

If you have RDM resources to share or you have previously deposited resources with Jorum and would prefer them to be discoverable via the new collection, just contact A guidefor depositing resources in the new collection is available and includes a glimpse of the new description fields with the RDM classification scheme. We welcome any questions or feedback on the collection and the terms included.

With thanks to La tecnología de big data revolucionará la seguridad de la información for the image included.

DaMSSI-ABC workshop, April 18 2013

We ran a one day workshop as part of the DaMSSI-ABC project on April 18th. The workshop had two key objectives:

  • To provide an introduction to Vitae’s RDF Information literacy lens and provide an opportunity map Jisc RDMTrain project outputs to the lens. Vitae’s RDF information literacy lens highlights how information literacy forms part of the professional development of researchers.
  • To provide an introduction to Jorum and an opportunity to test and comment on our draft RDM classification scheme which aims to facilitate better resource discovery for those wishing to find and/or reuse course materials.

The presentations from the workshop and supporting materials can now be downloaded from

Jisc MRD project materials: use and reuse for RDM training

Over at the Jisc MRD programme Evidence Gatherers’ blog, I wrote about a DCC training event for research librarians about research data management, and was encouraged by the use and reuse of MRD programme materials.  Please visit

for the full post.

Your comments are very welcome, either here or there!


e: laura.molloy AT

RDM Training session at the Jisc Managing Research Data Programme workshop, Birmingham, 25 March

The RDM Training session offered discussion around the findings and experiences of the JISC RDM Training projects and the wider RDM training landscape in Europe.

The first talk was by Andrew Cox from the RDMRose project (, which has produced Open Educational Resources for teaching RDM to students and information professionals. Librarians can potentially contribute to a number of areas in research data management, yet the results of a survey run by the project found a key theme to be a lack of skills in the workforce. Librarians need more confidence in demystifying the topic. To illustrate the point, Andrew provided entertaining examples of icebreakers used in their training sessions, where participants were asked ‘What would RDM be if it were an animal or a movie?’, and some of the amusing and terrified responses they had received.

The RDMRose learning approach acts on the premise that many librarians do not have personal experience of research, so the courses help participants understand the researcher’s perspective alongside that of other relevant support services. Practical exercises include building an RDM guidance website, conducting researcher interviews and reflective writing. Version 2 of the training materials will be released in April 2013, and a workshop will follow in May.

The second presentation was delivered by the TRaD project. The aim of TRaD is to embed good research data management practice at the University of East London, in the form of training for students and a course for liaison librarians. Two introductory RDM courses were delivered to professional doctoral psychology students, the initial one to students in their first year and the second to more advanced students working in the field. Both courses struggled to get participants to carry out work requested after the course, namely completion of the Jisc Research Data MANTRA ( modules and feedback on the course. Even the offer of a prize failed to gain compliance!

The project found that the cohort already working professionally had many practical examples they could provide of RDM issues, and this made for a more interested and engaged audience. The first year students showed less interest and may have benefitted from the topic being included within a larger research methods course instead. TraD also offers another course, aimed primarily at subject librarians but with the scope to raise awareness amongst other librarians and IT services. This uses a blended learning approach with an introductory meeting followed by Moodle modules.

Jo Goodger from the University of Hertfordshire delivered the next talk, looking at their project RDMTPA on RDM training for astronomy and physics PGs ( The initial aim of the project had been to produce DMP online templates, a website and face-to-face training, but after interviews and running a training course the project decided to expand their approach into other departments. They found that although the types of data dealt with by other disciplines varied, many had the same issues and would all benefit from generic RDM training with best practice guidance. Jo echoed the comments of some of the projects in the RDM Support and Guidance session earlier that day, in that universities often have strict website templates in place which can be restrictive to the development of guidance webpages. She also highlighted that scientists in physics and astronomy were particularly concerned about media manipulation of their data, resulting in some reluctance to share. Good RDM fits this current need for promoting data well to the media.

The next two talks offered international perspectives on the topic. Laurence Horton of the Archives and Data Management Training Center at GESIS, Leibinz Institute for Social Science in Germany described their training resources and events which bore many similarities to those being created in the UK. Laurence highlighted two of the big issues they face. Firstly, German funding bodies, whilst recommending RDM, currently have no mandate for projects to share data, which means the focus on engaging researchers in RDM needs to be through good science practice. Secondly, European integration means that they have difficulty creating generic training courses in areas such as intellectual property and personal data where each country has different legislation. In the questions that followed the talk it was highlighted that the good practice argument is still important in theUK, especially as institutions begin to produce data management policies for non-funded research.

The University of Amsterdam, the largest university in the Netherlands, is now feeling an urge to take action in improving RDM. Key challenges in training their librarians include identifying a suitable length for courses, considering workload, engaging those librarians who work alone, and providing updates after initial training is delivered. Reflections after the talk noted that incentives to attract support staff are often focused on less than for researchers.

The final short talk was presented by Sarah Jones of the DCC on behalf of the University of Edinburgh, to describe their DIY Research Data Management Training Kit for Librarians ( This five-module course aims to build knowledge and confidence amongst librarians, re-using MANTRA online training resources alongside face-to-face sessions with guest speakers and reflective writing. Again the themes of building confidence and putting librarians in researchers’ shoes were clearly identified as necessary and successful approaches.

The discussion which followed focused on a number of issues, centered around what more needs to be done in the area of RDM training. The projects all agreed that discipline-specific examples continued to be useful and it was important to share these more widely to make courses relevant and encourage take-up. There was also consensus that the issue of sustainability needs further consideration. It was commented that the active, middle phase of the RDM cycle is not the role of the librarian and this is an area where projects struggle to find suitable resources.  There was also interest in RDM training for IT staff; whilst there is acceptance that this is necessary there seems to be little focus on the design of tailored courses. It was agreed that less work has been done in this area and that more is needed to get these other services involved as RDM becomes more institutionalised. Finally, one attendee asked if there was any one place which brings together all these training resources so they can be compared and the most relevant courses selected. Chair Joy Davidson highlighted the current work of DaMSSI-ABC ( which is looking to build a Jorum ‘window’ for RDM and identify suitable ways to classify and benchmark materials.

What are your thoughts on the progress of RDM training? Are there areas or audiences which you think still need more attention? Do you have any suggestions for how courses should be classified so they can be compared effectively? Send us your comments!

Describing and assessing research data management training: DaMSSI-ABC and the RIDLs draft criteria checklist

A key component of DaMSSI-ABC is identifying an appropriate assessment framework for research data management training materials, so that courses can be effectively found and compared. Our first step in this area is to trial the Research Information and Digital Literacies Coalition (RIDLs) draft criteria for good practice in describing, reviewing and assessing practice in information literacy training.

RIDLs was established in 2012 as a follow-on from the Research Information Network’s Working Group on Information Handling, and is a coalition of partners working together to promote the value of information and research data literacy for academic researchers. More information on the coalition can be found at One of RIDLs’ core activities focuses on testing, refining and disseminating the criteria for good practice in describing, reviewing and assessing training courses and other interventions in the area of information literacy. The criteria relate to all types of interventions aimed at developing researchers’ information-handling knowledge, skills and competencies, whether in the form of face-to-face sessions/courses or digital/online resources. They serve two broad purposes:

(i)     Helping those who design and deliver courses and learning resources to ensure they are developing materials that are fit for purpose as well as a means of describing them. The criteria might provide a means of enabling a structured and recognised way of presenting such interventions through online portals such as Jorum.

(ii)   Providing a simple means of assessing whether a particular course or resource is the right option and the right time. The criteria may enable the value of courses and resources to be better assessed by potential course participants as well as by other training providers who may be seeking to reuse the materials.

DaMSSI-ABC, working alongside RIDLs, have developed the proposed criteria into an easy-to-complete checklist (this can be found at, and are currently trialling the checklist with the Jisc RDMTrain projects and a number of other curation training providers in order to identify the usefulness of such a framework in a practical data management setting. RIDLs are also testing the criteria in its original format for a number of other information literacy projects and initiatives in over 20 institutions across the UK. Feedback so far has been very positive and the checklist format has ensured using the criteria is a quicker and simpler process.

It is hoped that the end result for the purposes of DaMSSI-ABC will be a set of criteria specifically adapted for the self-assessment, description and evaluation of data management training. We also envisage elements of the criteria being used as part of course description fields in the upcoming Jorum research data management ‘window’, which will be completed later in the year.

Next up, DaMSSI-ABC will be looking into benchmarking training courses and learning resources to help identify possible pathways through the content. This will allow course participants and training providers to better plan for progressive skills development. Watch this space for more updates.

DaMSSI-ABC and DigCurV: connections and correlations

DaMSSI-ABC is concerned with a few different areas of activity around the how digital curation training is developed under the auspices of the Jisc MRD programme and subsequently made available, but also, in a wider frame, identifying and agreeing benchmarks on learning outcomes and means of assessment so that courses from a range of training providers can be effectively compared.  In this way there are some similarities with other current initiatives, including the DigCurV project.  DigCurV – the Digital Curator Vocational Education Europe Project – is currently developing a curriculum framework for digital curation in the cultural heritage sector, and I’m involved in both projects.  So whilst the two initiatives have different aims and audiences, I hope it is of interest to share the DigCurV work here with the DaMSSI-ABC community.

Digital curation in the cultural heritage sector requires a wide and varied range of skills and knowledge.  DigCurV has undertaken research across a number of European countries in order to understand these skills and this knowledge as it is currently constituted.  Findings underpin the content of the DigCurV Curriculum Framework for Digital Curation.  As it is a priority of the project to create something relevant to and based upon the knowledge of the professional community, the Framework has recently (late 2012) been vigorously trialled with a number of groups and individuals from digital curation professional roles across Europe in order to refine its content and structure before the end of the project in summer 2013.

The DigCurV Curriculum Framework is comprised of three views or ‘lenses’, one for each of three different types of audience: ‘practitioner’, ‘manager’ and ‘executive’.  In addition, it is anticipated that there are three main ways that the Framework can be helpful.

Three audience types

The three audience types described in the Framework were initially identified by the Digital Preservation Outreach and Education initiative at the Library of Congress (see as being a useful way to characterise audiences for effective training in digital curation.  When using these terms, DigCurV complies with the definitions offered by DPOE.

  • Practitioners

‘Practitioners’ include front line staff, hands-on staff and other staff responsible for practical implementation of digital curation activity.  Practitioners need to be able to perform a wide variety of technical and people-orientated tasks.  They must also understand many diverse issues relating to both their area of cultural heritage and to digital curation.

  • Managers

‘Managers’, here, indicates project managers, team managers, managers of programmes of work and other middle management.  Individuals in these roles also need an understanding of both cultural heritage and of digital curation to successfully ensure projects and programmes of work are on track and to advise teams.  However, managers will not, in some areas, need as much in-depth practical knowledge of some tasks as required by practitioners.  Managers perform an important role in ensuring that digital curation programmes respond to institutional aims and anticipate upcoming institutional requirements.  Managers also often function as conduit between the staff they manage and institutional senior management and so an ability to effectively translate the meaning of digital curation activity across different types of staff is necessary.

  • Executive

The third of the three audience groups, ‘Executive’, corresponds here to senior management: chief executive officers, chief information officers, senior administrators, directors and other similar roles.  These roles require a strategic view of digital curation to understand the emerging challenges in digital curation for the cultural heritage sector, and to make appropriate funding decisions to meet these challenges.  The executive also has a key role in advocating for the need for digital curation activity within the organisation, based on an understanding of how digital curation underpins the organisation’s strategic objectives and business plan.

In some institutions, particularly smaller ones, it is recognised that individuals may find themselves working across more than one of these staff categories.  In such instances, the lenses can be used to support their respective areas of the role in a complementary way.

Three main uses

Each of the lenses can be used in three main ways.

  • To build or develop training

The framework aims to be useful to those building new training courses.  Depending on the user’s aims, the framework can assist in providing a structure for a generic training programme for the role of digital curator, or it can suggest which subjects should be covered in shorter, more specialised courses addressing one particular area of professional digital curation practice.  The framework may also supply a common language to allow those building and developing  training to meaningfully describe the value of their training offerings.

  • To compare existing courses

The framework provides a benchmark against which to compare existing training and also a way to map various training offerings against each other.  The professional who is considering undertaking training may wish to compare available training programmes to help identify which is most appropriate for their needs.  The framework can also be used by staff training providers to compare existing courses and assess suitability for their own institution’s requirements.

  • To plan professional development

The framework suggests the broad range of skills and knowledge needed by professionals of various levels to successfully deliver digital curation in the cultural heritage sector.  Individuals either intending to enter or already working in digital curation in the cultural heritage sector may find it useful to map their own strengths against the framework as well as to use the framework to identify  and describe areas in which they would find further training useful.

Of course DigCurV is always delighted to hear of additional applications of the framework!  Please visit the website to let the team know your thoughts.

Digital curation as an emerging profession – or set of professions – is diverse and rapidly changing: the Framework should not attempt to set a static definition of the skills and knowledge of the profession either at this time or in the future.  Rather, it is hoped that this Framework is a contribution to a longer conversation and debate about the skills of digital curation now and in the future, and will helpfully function as a checklist, starting point or aide-memoire to assist in the development and delivery of skills for an effective, adaptable digital curation profession.

For more information, visit

To see a similar version of this post in the DigCurV newsletter, visit

Laura Molloy

e: laura.molloy AT

Feedback?  Questions? Let us know in the comments!

Jorum Update: Embargo on Deposits and Jorum Beta

A belated hello from Jorum and me, Jorum’s new Educational Technologist. The wait has been worth it in order to tell you about the new Jorum Beta. It offers improved search, preview, reporting and API and we invite all testers to have a go and welcome any comments. See Jorum’s latest blog post for more information and feedback opportunities.

Also as part of our Jorum Enhancements work, we are migrating to DSpace 1.8. In order to carry out this work, Jorum Deposit will be disabled from 28th – 31st January, with normal service resuming on 1st February. Finding and using resources already in Jorum will be unaffected.

There will be an update here to let you know when our enhancements work is complete and new Jorum is live and available to use.

Siobhán Burke

Research Data Management programme Training Strand kick-off workshop, London, 26 October

Part of the work of DaMSSI-ABC is to support and where appropriate, provide some synthesis of the work of the Research Data Management Training Materials projects of the 2nd JISC Managing Research Data programme, or ‘RDMTrain02’ for short.

This work officially kicked off at the end of October in London, with the Research Data Management programme Training Strand kick-off workshop.  I blogged about the day over on my MRD programme blog at

Siobhan Burke of Jorum also wrote an extensive blog post about the issues addressed on the day and their connection with the work of the Jorum repository at

There will be more in the way of focused information about Jorum and also Vitae’s Researcher Development Framework in MRD/DaMSSI-ABC events.

JISC MRD training and guidance resources: What we already have in Jorum

Part of the work of DaMSSI and now, DaMSSI-ABC is to improve the correlation between the work of the JISC Managing Research Data programme (‘JISC MRD’) training materials projects (‘RDMtrain’) and the Jorum repository of open educational resources.

Whilst the projects creating research data management training materials each have a website of their own which hosts their materials and possibly supplementary material, it’s an aim of our work at DaMSSI-ABC to help with the creation of a more visible and useable group of RDMTrain project outputs on Jorum.

To that end it’s useful for projects – and ‘fellow travellers’ – to have a grasp on what has already been added to Jorum by the MRD programme. So here’s a list of what’s on Jorum already, along with the Jorum location of its information page, and keywords used.  (But please bear in mind the projects listed below were all part of the first MRD programme’s training strand.  The current MRD programme’s training strand is described here:

I’m interested in emerging approaches to how we describe these resources.  Keyword use was undirected in MRD01 and so we can see here that approaches vary, but there are some terms which do recur.  I’ve marked these in green.

  • Research Data MANTRA:
    • Keywords: research data management; training; data management plans; documentation; metadata; file formats; file transformation; data organisation; data storage; data security; University of Edinburgh; MANTRA
  • DATUM for Health:
    • Keywords: research; researchers; research data; research data management; research data management training; data management; data management training; organising research data; organising data; study skills; research skills; health; medicine; PGR students; PhD students; doctoral students; postgraduate research students; qualitative data; unstructured data; data curation; data curation lifecycle; DATUM; DATUM for Health; data; health data; management data; management research data; students PGR; students PhD; students doctoral; students postgraduate research; curation data; curation research data; organisation data; organisation research data; skills research; data qualitative; data unstructured; data health; RDM; JISC Research Data Management Training Materials; JISC RDMTrain

The DMTpsych project has not yet deposited its work in Jorum.

In addition, the Incremental project from MRD01 deposited 38 training resources on a wide range of RDM-related topics.  Enter ‘Incremental’ in the search box on Jorum to find the list.

And the Sudamih project, also from MRD01, deposited 5 resources: again, you’ll find them by entering ‘Sudamih’ in Jorum’s search box.

We’re looking forward to welcoming more resources from the MRD programme to Jorum, and are interested in pulling them together to create a coherent and easy-to-use set of resources.

If you’ve deposited anything with Jorum which was made as part of MRD programme work, and it’s not listed here, please let me know either by email (laura.molloy AT, or in the comments.  Thanks!

And greetings from RIN too…

The Research Information Network is pleased also to be associated with DaMSSI-ABC, and I very much look forward to help develop the themes taken forward in the original DaMSSI initiative in 2010-11. RIN’s role on this occasion will focus around the development and deployment of criteria used to describe and evaluate training interventions (for which some groundwork has already taken place), and to developing interfaces with relevant learned/professional bodies, who have a clear interest in ensuring that their members posess appropriate skills and knowledge.

Stéphane Goldstein