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Nationally and internationally, the need to provide adequate storage for research data and to ensure the best possible exploitation of these assets is recognised as one of the most pressing challenges facing universities.
All UK Research Councils now have policies which require the data created by publicly funded research to be managed and retained according to best practice, and made available for reuse unless there are specific reasons not to do so. Added to this is the potential of requests for research data made under Freedom of Information legislation or Environmental Information Regulations. These requirements come directly from the principle that the outputs of publicly funded research – including data outputs – are a public good and should be available for verification and reuse.
Not all the drivers for improved management and sharing of research data are ‘top-down’, however. Researchers in a number of disciplines have demonstrated the benefits and value of data sharing. As a result there are vocal calls for making research data as open as possible.
These issues touch on those of research integrity. Ensuring research integrity and improving research data management are two closely related challenges facing universities. Research data management considers the need to have policies and processes governing the retention and preservation of data, and the ability, where necessary, to ensure security and to enable the appropriate sharing and publication of data, fundamental to ensuring research integrity.
It is essential, therefore, for universities to engage with the research data challenge and improve the way they support researchers in managing data through the research lifecycle, and making these outputs available for further exploitation.
There are many questions which need to be considered, for example: What technical infrastructure and support systems will best help researchers? What policies and procedures should govern the retention and disposal of research data? What are the ethical, legal and policy drivers to making data more readily available and what are the limits? Where should responsibility for supporting researchers in responding to these drivers lie? How may institutions and discipline bodies work together and help reduce the effort required on the part of researchers?
What will you learn or take away?
- An overview of some of the key issues for universities to address when thinking about research integrity and data management;
- Highlights of the current leading edge work that the Jisc is funding in this area;
- An opportunity to discuss the practical actions that universities can take to support best practice.
Who should attend
Directors for Research
Research Liaison Officers and Research Liaison Librarians.
Research Support Officers and Experimental Officers with data support roles.