Because good research needs good data

Delivering Research Data Management Services MOOC: Week 2 recap

Ryan O'Connor | 20 September 2021

The second week of the Delivering Research Data Management MOOC focused on the tools and methods that our learners can use to self-evaluate their RDM service offerings and provide a framework to develop their services further. Moderation was provided by René, who led moderation for the introductory modules, and myself, Ryan from the DCC. As ever, engagement from participants was key to the week’s learning, with some great insights into the challenges and successes people have encountered in their work.

Week 2’s modules focused on two aspects of providing RDM services. The first concerned how participants could conduct a gap analysis of their organisation’s RDM services (or base their analysis on a case study example), looking at current strengths and weaknesses, and setting out the steps for future development. The second part of the week looked at something similar - using the DCC’s Research Infrastructure Self-Evaluation (RISE) framework to evaluate organisations’ current RDM offerings. This second part of the course incorporated a tool developed by SPARC Europe based on the RISE framework, which gives users a graphical representation of their current standing based on a brief questionnaire. Based on the responses from participants we could see some understandable variation in maturity of services within organisations - as is typical, some institutions will be more developed in some areas compared to others, as is clear from the diagrams below.

As the interactions indicated, many of the participants were in the early stages of RDM service development, but the course materials were helping to clarify their planning in this area. There was a positive assessment of  the tools covered in the week - many were looking forward to using RISE, carrying out a gap analysis for services at their institutions, and generally getting to work on developing support for researchers at their organisations.

The next set of modules will focus on data management plans (DMPs) - what they are, how to set up online support pages for researchers developing DMPs, and what services are available. These modules will be moderated by two former DCC stalwarts, Sarah and Venkat. Good luck to all and happy learning!