Because good research needs good data

Extending the OPD to cover RDM

The challenge

It is currently very difficult to discover what research data management (RDM) infrastructure is in place in HEIs without arduous manual searching.

Who needs to know?

  • Staff (join up, signposting, strategic planning)
  • Peers (regional partnerships, knowledge transfer)
  • Funding bodies (compliance)

The key objective for this pilot is to agree - within the community - a list of basic RDM infrastructure components in light of EPSRC's Policy Framework on Research Data and to make this infrastructure more visible and easier to identify. 

Possible solution

By extending the Organisational Profile Document (OPD) to consistently list hard and ‘soft’ RDM infrastructure components we will help to make them more visible, machine readable, and discoverable.

What exactly is an Organisation Profile Document (OPD)?

The OPD was developed by at the University of Southampton to help HEIs meet EPSRC's mandate about exposing information on research equipment bought with public funds. The OPD is a simple RDF file which enables equipment data to be made more visible to both humans and machines. There is a small set of mandatory fields that must be completed but great scope to extend the profile with optional information using the LinkingYou vocabulary which was developed by the Jisc-funded Linking You project project at the University of Lincoln. By extending the OPD to consistently list hard and ‘soft’ RDM infrastructure components we hope to make research data management infrastructure components more visible, discoverable, and machine readable. 

Why it could work

  • Builds upon existing infrastructure
  • Easy to implement solution
  • HEIs can update and maintain profile locally
  • Profiles made visible by

Phase 1 Activity (March-August 2015)

  • Pitch at Jisc RDS workshop (February 27 2015) 
  • Draft mapping of RDM infrastructure components against EPSRC requirements and LinkingYou vocabulary; recommended new LinkingYou terms required  (June 15 2015)
  • Workshop to share components (June 22, 2015)
  • Period of public consultation (June 18-July 10 2015). Please not that the period of public consultation has now closed. However, we are still happy to accept feedback on the list as we move into Phase 2.  
  • Basic profile tested with 3 HEIs (July 2015)
  •'s general guidance on developing an Organisational Profile Document (OPD)  

Phase 2 Activity (September-December 2015)

Funding Body: 

Jisc Research Data Spring


University of Southampton

University of Lancaster

Start date: 


End date: