Cultural obstacles to research data management and sharing at TU Delft

Authors : Esther Plomp, Nicolas Dintzner, Marta Teperek, Alastair Dunning

Research data management (RDM) is increasingly important in scholarship. Many researchers are, however, unaware of the benefits of good RDM and unsure about the practical steps they can take to improve their RDM practices. Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) addresses this cultural barrier by appointing Data Stewards at every faculty.

By providing expert advice and increasing awareness, the Data Stewardship project focuses on incremental improvements in current data and software management and sharing practices.

This cultural change is accelerated by the Data Champions who share best practices in data management with their peers. The Data Stewards and Data Champions build a community that allows a discipline-specific approach to RDM. Nevertheless, cultural change also requires appropriate rewards and incentives.

While local initiatives are important, and we discuss several examples in this paper, systemic changes to the academic rewards system are needed. This will require collaborative efforts of a broad coalition of stakeholders and we will mention several such initiatives.

This article demonstrates that community building is essential in changing the code and data management culture at TU Delft.

URL : Cultural obstacles to research data management and sharing at TU Delft

DOI: http://doi.org/10.1629/uksg.484

Building Infrastructure for African Human Genomic Data Management

Authors: Ziyaad Parker, Suresh Maslamoney, Ayton Meintjes, Gerrit Botha, Sumir Panji, Scott Hazelhurst, Nicola Mulder

Human genomic data are large and complex, and require adequate infrastructure for secure storage and transfer. The NIH and The Wellcome Trust have funded multiple projects on genomic research, including the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative, and data are required to be deposited into the public domain.

The European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) is a repository for sequence and genotype data where the data access is controlled by access committees. Access is determined by a formal application procedure for the purpose of secure storage and distribution, and must be in line with the informed consent of the study participants.

H3Africa researchers based in Africa and generating their own data can benefit tremendously from the data sharing capabilities of the internet by using the appropriate technologies.

The H3Africa Data Archive is an effort between the H3Africa data generating projects, H3ABioNet and the EGA to store and submit genomic data to public repositories. H3ABioNet maintains the security of the H3Africa Data Archive, ensures ethical security compliance, supports users with data submission and facilitates the data transfer.

The goal is to ensure efficient data flow between researchers, the archive and the EGA or other public repositories.

To comply with the H3Africa data sharing and release policy, nine months after the data is in secure storage, H3ABioNet converts the data into an XML format ready for submission to EGA. This article describes the infrastructure that has been developed for African human genomic data management.

URL : Building Infrastructure for African Human Genomic Data Management

DOI : http://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2019-047

Research data management and the evolutions of scholarship: policy, infrastructure and data literacy at KU Leuven

Authors : Tom Willaert, Jacob Cottyn, Ulrike Kenens, Thomas Vandendriessche, Demmy Verbeke, Roxanne Wyns

This case study critically examines ongoing developments in contemporary scholarship through the lens of research data management support at KU Leuven, and KU Leuven Libraries in particular.

By means of case-based examples, current initiatives for fostering sound scientific work and scholarship are considered in three associated domains: support for policy-making, the development of research infrastructures, and digital literacy training for students, scientists and scholars.

It is outlined how KU Leuven Libraries collaborates with partner services in order to contribute to KU Leuven’s research data management support network. Particular attention is devoted to the innovations that facilitate such collaborations.

These accounts of initial experiences form the basis for a reflection on best practices and pitfalls, and foreground a number of pertinent challenges facing the domain of research data management, including matters of scalability, technology acceptance and adoption, and methods for effectively gauging and communicating the manifold transformations of science and scholarship.

URL : Research data management and the evolutions of scholarship: policy, infrastructure and data literacy at KU Leuven

DOI : http://doi.org/10.18352/lq.10272

The Australian Research Data Commons

Authors : Michelle Barker, Ross Wilkinson, Andrew Treloar

A research data commons can provide researchers with the data and resources necessary to conduct world class research. More than this, a research data commons can be transformational in facilitating change in the way research is conducted, in terms of both research culture and the availability of research data and analytical tools.

This paper describes frameworks needed to build a transformational data commons, through examination of the development of the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) ARDC was formed in 2018 as part of a 20-year vision to transform Australia’s research culture by enabling access to the digital data and eResearch platforms that can significantly enhance research capacity.

ARDC is located within both national and international eResearch ecosystems, and its unique positioning must be understood, alongside the achievements of its three predecessor organisations, to understand the niche from which ARDC aims to provide maximum value and impact.

Consideration is given to the challenges inherent in both the current Australian ecosystem and beyond, to articulate ARDC’s focus going forward. The paper concludes with consideration of the international dimension, drawing on discussions around the development of a global data commons.

URL : The Australian Research Data Commons

DOI : http://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2019-044

On a Quest for Cultural Change – Surveying Research Data Management Practices at Delft University of Technology

Authors : Heather Andrews Mancilla, Marta Teperek, Jasper van Dijck, Kees den Heijer, Robbert Eggermont, Esther Plomp, Yasemin Turkyilmaz-van der Velden, Shalini Kurapati

The Data Stewardship project is a new initiative from the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands. Its aim is to create mature working practices and policies regarding research data management across all TU Delft faculties.

The novelty of this project relies on having a dedicated person, the so-called ‘Data Steward’, embedded in each faculty to approach research data management from a more discipline-specific perspective. It is within this framework that a research data management survey was carried out at the faculties that had a Data Steward in place by July 2018.

The goal was to get an overview of the general data management practices, and use its results as a benchmark for the project. The total response rate was 11 to 37% depending on the faculty.

Overall, the results show similar trends in all faculties, and indicate lack of awareness regarding different data management topics such as automatic data backups, data ownership, relevance of data management plans, awareness of FAIR data principles and usage of research data repositories.

The results also show great interest towards data management, as more than ~80% of the respondents in each faculty claimed to be interested in data management training and wished to see the summary of survey results.

Thus, the survey helped identified the topics the Data Stewardship project is currently focusing on, by carrying out awareness campaigns and providing training at both university and faculty levels.

URL : On a Quest for Cultural Change – Surveying Research Data Management Practices at Delft University of Technology

Skills, Standards, and Sapp Nelson’s Matrix: Evaluating Research Data Management Workshop Offerings

Authors : Philip Espinola Coombs, Christine Malinowski, Amy Nurnberger

Objective

To evaluate library workshops on their coverage of data management topics.

Methods

We used a modified version of Sapp Nelson’s Competency Matrix for Data Management Skills, a matrix of learning goals organized by data management competency and complexity level, against which we compared our educational materials: slide decks and worksheets.

We examined each of the educational materials against the 333 learning objectives in our modified version of the Matrix to determine which of the learning objectives applied.

Conclusions

We found it necessary to change certain elements of the Matrix’s structure to increase its clarity and functionality: reinterpreting the “behaviors,” shifting the organization from the three domains of Bloom’s taxonomy to increasing complexity solely within the cognitive domain, as well as creating a comprehensive identifier schema.

We appreciated the Matrix for its specificity of learning objectives, its organizational structure, the comprehensive range of competencies included, and its ease of use. On the whole, the Matrix is a useful instrument for the assessment of data management programming.

URL : Skills, Standards, and Sapp Nelson’s Matrix: Evaluating Research Data Management Workshop Offerings

Alternative location : https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/jeslib/vol8/iss1/6/

Establishing, Developing, and Sustaining a Community of Data Champions

Authors : James L. Savage, Lauren Cadwallader

Supporting good practice in Research Data Management (RDM) is challenging for higher education institutions, in part because of the diversity of research practices and data types across disciplines.

While centralised research data support units now exist in many universities, these typically possess neither the discipline-specific expertise nor the resources to offer appropriate targeted training and support within every academic unit.

One solution to this problem is to identify suitable individuals with discipline-specific expertise that are already embedded within each unit, and empower these individuals to advocate for good RDM and to deliver support locally.

This article focuses on an ongoing example of this approach: the Data Champion Programme at the University of Cambridge, UK.

We describe how the Data Champion programme was established; the programme’s reach, impact, strengths and weaknesses after two years of operation; and our anticipated challenges and planned strategies for maintaining the programme over the medium- and long-term.

URL : Establishing, Developing, and Sustaining a Community of Data Champions

DOI : http://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2019-023