Mind the Gap! Moving From Aspiration to Experience in UK Institutional Research Data Management.
In, eResearch Australasia 2011, Melbourne, Australia,
07 - 09 Nov 2011.
The aim of the Institutional Data Management Blueprint (IDMB) project, funded by JISC in the UK, has been to create a practical and attainable institutional framework for managing research data that facilitates ambitious e-research practice. A candidate tool to support this responsibility is the institutional repository – an information storage and management tool conjoined with extensive social support and advice structures from the library. In order to acknowledge and manage their data management responsibilities, IDMB provides an overall framework within which to plan and develop institutional data management strategy. This paper describes the main practical developments being made to an institutional repository platform as a result of the IDMB data management survey and audit. The University of Southampton Institutional Repository is based on the EPrints platform (v. 3.2), configured for some rudimentary data support that makes research data discoverable, but not easily interpretable or reusable. A table of data points may be provided as a spreadsheet, a database or a PDF, but guidance as to the interpretation of those figures is not easy to come by. Nor is it easy to understand the relationship between multiple data files (components of complex data objects.) The paper describes some simple amendments to the repository’s document model to facilitate human and software interpretation of the document contents and the role of individual data components.
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