Tuesday, 2 June 2009

New JISC Research Data Management Programme

I have not been posting for over a month now, due to pressure of work (bid writing, mainly), and its curiously hard to get back into it. There's plenty of things to write about; too many, really; too hard to pick the right one. But now something has arrived that absolutely demands to be blogged: the JISC Research Data Programme, Data Management Infrastructure Call for Projects (JISC 07/09) has been released (closing data 6 August 2009, Community Briefing 6 July 2009)!

We are very excited about this. The Programme aims for 6-8 projects in English or Welsh (not Scottish or Irish, grrrr) institutions that will identify requirements to manage data created by researchers, and then will deploy a pilot data management infrastructure to address these requirements. Coupled with some projects already funded under the JISC 12/08 call (CLARION at Cambridge, Bril at Kings, EIDCSR at Oxford, Lifespan RADAR at Royal Holloway, and the Materials Data Centre at Southampton), and some work not eligible for this call, such as Edinburgh DataShare, these projects will really begin to build experience in managing research data at institutional level (or groups of institutions) in the UK.

The DCC has a key role in the Programme. Apart from mentions of the Curation Lifecycle and the Data Audit Framework, paragraph 30 of the Call says
"30. Role of the Digital Curation Centre (DCC): Bidders are invited to consult with the DCC in preparing their bids. The DCC will provide general support for this strand of activities and for the programme more broadly. This will be done by contributions to programme events as well as the current channels of information, and through its principal role as a broker for expertise and advice in the management and curation of data. Projects are encouraged to engage directly with the DCC and its programme of information exchange - for example, by contributing to the Research Data Management Forum (RDMF)."
We are preparing to deliver on this role both in the short term (during the bid-writing phase), and later during the Programme execution. I have been very pleased to work with Simon Hodson, the JISC Programme Manager for this Call. I'm sure Simon does not yet realise how much influence he will be exerting over the future of research data curation in institutions in the UK!


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