30 October 2011

DATUM in Action – Supporting researchers to plan and manage their research data

Welcome to this new blog for the JISC funded DATUM in Action project which aims to help a collaborative group of researchers working on an EU FP7 staff exchange project (MATSIQEL) to define and implement good research data management (RDM) practice. The DATUM in Action team, Prof Julie McLeod (Lead), Sue Childs and Elizabeth Lomas, are helping the EU research staff to develop a data management plan and supporting systems and then evaluate their initial implementation. The project is seeking to improve practice on the ground through more effective and appropriate systems, tools/solutions and guidance for managing research data. It builds on the successful DATUM for Health project, which developed training materials to promote and improve RDM capacity and skills in HEIs, by improving practice on the ground’ through more effective and appropriate systems, tools/solutions and guidance for managing research data.

Working with four researchers and one PhD student involved in one of the EU project’s work packages, we are using a form of action research. Action research (i.e. practical problem solving) is participative, emergent and reflective, and aims to improve practice and achieve institutional change. The requirements analysis, DMP development and supporting infrastructure development will each form an action research cycle, each cycle comprising three phases covering the processes of action planning > action taking > reflection. The project is currently part way through the first cycle (requirements analysis).

The EU (MATSIQEL) project, funded under the Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme, is accumulating expertise for the mathematical and computer modelling of ageing processes with the aim of developing models which can be implemented in technological solutions (e.g. monitors, telecare, recreational games) for improving and enhancing quality of life. Lead by Professor Maia Angelova, School of Computing, Engineering and Information Sciences at Northumbria University, it comprises six work packages involving researchers at Northumbria and in Australia, Bulgaria, Germany, Mexico and South Africa. DATUM in Action will focus on one of its work packages (WP5 Quality of Life) lead by Professor Glenda Cook, School of Health, Community & Education Studies, Northumbria University.

The project runs from 3 Oct 2011-31 March 2012. Full details are available at the project website http://www.northumbria.ac.uk/datum