Research Data Training: Semester 1 2020/21

A universal truth: things are a bit weird just now. So over the past few months we have been working hard to convert our popular face-to-face training workshops for online delivery. Below you will find a list of the courses we’ve scheduled to delivery during semester 1 using Collaborate virtual classroom. Come along and join us!

Full details about each course are on our training webpage https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/research-support/research-data-service/training

Workshop Audience Date Time Booking Link
Writing A Data Management Plan for Your Research (RDS002) Research Staff 08 September 2020 09:30 – 11:30 https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=42689
Writing A Data Management Plan for Your Research (RDS002) All Staff & PGR’s 23 September 2020 10:00 – 12:00 https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=42494
Edinburgh DataVault: supporting users archiving their research data (RDS008) Professional Service Staff 25 September 2020 14:00 – 16:00 https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=42495
Realising the Benefits of Good Research Data Management (RDS001) Research Staff 29-30 September 2020 09:30 – 11:00 x 2 https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=42690
Realising the Benefits of Good Research Data Management (RDS001) All Staff & PGR’s 13-14 October 20 10:30 – 1200 x 2 Part 1 – https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=42496,

Part 2 – https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=42637

Working with Personal and Sensitive Data (RDS003) Research Staff 28 October 2020 09:30 – 11:30 https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=42791
Realising the Benefits of Good Research Data Management (RDS001) Research Staff 11-12 November 2020 13:30 – 15:00 x 2 https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=42794
Realising the Benefits of Good Research Data Management (RDS001) PhD students 01-02 December 2020 09:30 – 11:00 x 2 https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=42795
Working with Personal and Sensitive Data (RDS003) All Staff & PGR’s 07 December 2020 10:30 – 12:30 https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=42498

The following courses will not run during semester 1, but we plan to relaunch them in 2021. In the meantime if you need any support just get in touch with us via data-support@ed.ac.uk and we’ll be happy to help.

  • Data Cleaning with OpenRefine (RDS004)
  • Handling Data Using SPSS (RDS005)
  • Assessing Disclosure Risk in Quantitative Data (RDS006)
  • Assessing Data Quality in Quantitative Data (RDS007)
  • Data Mindfulness: Making the Most of your Dissertation (RDS009)
  • Introduction to Visualising Data in ArcGIS (RDS011)
  • Introduction to Visualising Data in QGIS (RDS012)

Kerry Miller
Research Data Support Officer
Library and University Collections

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DataVault – larger deposits and new review process notifications

New deposit size limit: 10TB

Great news for DataVault users: you can now deposit up to a whopping ten terabytes in a single deposit in the Edinburgh DataVault! That’s five times greater than the previous deposit limit, saving you time that might have been wasted splitting your data artificially and making multiple deposits.

It’s still a good idea to divide up your data into deposits that correspond well to whatever subsets of the dataset you and your colleagues are likely to want to retrieve at any one time. That’s because you can only retrieve a single deposit in its entirety; you cannot select individual files in the deposit to retrieve. Smaller deposits are quicker to retrieve. And remember you’ll need enough space for the retrieved data to arrive in.

We’ve made some performance improvements thanks to our brilliant technical team, so depositing now goes significantly faster. Nonetheless, please bear in mind that any deposit of multiple terabytes will probably take several days to complete (depending on how many deposits are queueing and some characteristics of the fileset), because the DataVault needs time to encrypt the data and store it on the tape archives and into the cloud. Remember not to delete your original copy from your working area on DataStore until you receive our email confirming that the deposit has completed!

And you can archive as many deposits as you like into a vault, as long as you have the resources to pay the bill when we send you the eIT!

A reminder on how to structure your data:
https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/research-support/research-data-service/after/datavault/prepare-datavault/structure

 Ensuring good stewardship of your data through the review process

Another great feature that’s now up and running is the review process notification system, and the accompanying dashboard which allows the curators to implement decisions about retaining or deleting data.

Vault owners should receive an email when the chosen review date is six months away, seeking your involvement in the review process. The email will provide you with the information you need about when the funder’s minimum retention period (if there is one) expires, and how to access the vault. Don’t worry if you think you might have moved on by then; the system is designed to allow the University to implement good stewardship of all the data vaults, even when the Principal Investigator (PI) is no longer contactable. Our curators use a review dashboard to see all vaults whose review dates are approaching, and who the Nominated Data Managers (NDMs) are. In the absence of the Owner, the system notifies the NDMs instead. We will consult with the NDMs or the School about the vault, to ensure all deposits that should be deleted are deleted in good time, and all deposits that should be kept longer are kept safe and sound and still accessible to all authorised users.

DataVault Review Process:
https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/research-support/research-data-service/after/datavault/review-process 

The new max. deposit size of 10 TB is equivalent to over five million images of around 2 MB each – that’s one selfie for every person in Scotland. Image: A selfie on the cliffs at Bell Hill, St Abbs
cc-by-sa/2.0 – © Walter Baxter – geograph.org.uk/p/5967905

Pauline Ward
Research Data Support Assistant
Library & University Collections

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Protocols.io trial… six months on!

We launched a trial of protocols.io Enterprise in December 2019, and a lot has been achieved in the first six months.

The number of registered UoE users has increased from 121 to 217 and the number of private protocols from 36 to 106 which demonstrates a significant interest in using the platform with its additional Enterprise functionality,

We have also run a number of webinars specifically for UoE staff and students which have been well attended.

While these numbers suggest interest amongst our research community in using protocols.io we have to collect better feedback before we can decide if protocols.io Enterprise is to become an ongoing service provided by the University.

That is why we are now launching this short survey about protocols.io which is open to all UoE research staff and students. The aim is to gather initial thoughts from our community and to identify people who may be prepared to contribute more in-depth feedback as the trial progresses.

The survey can be accessed at https://edinburgh.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/protocols-io-6-month-survey

To find out more about protocols.io or this trial you can read this blogpost from when the trial launched: http://datablog.is.ed.ac.uk/2019/12/13/new-research-data-management-tool-on-one-year-trial-protocols-io/

Alternatively please visit our website, where you will also find links to all the protocols.io webinars we have run: https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/research-support/research-data-service/during/open-research-tools/protocols

Kerry Miller
Research Data Support Officer
Library & University Collections

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Two new Quick Guides for good Research Data Management

The Research Data Support team have recently published two new Quick Guides, the latest in a series of short, user-friendly documents intended to help our research staff and students plan, manage and preserve their data effectively, safely, and for the long-term.

Quick Guide 5 takes the topic of “Open Research” – also known as Open Science, particularly in a European context. The drive towards research transparency and the removal of barriers to accessibility has gathered a great deal of momentum over recent years, to the extent that “Open by default” is an increasingly common approach. Open research enables scientific findings to be tested, reproduced and built upon far more quickly than traditional approaches allowed. The benefits of Open Research are being demonstrated in real time, right in front of our noses, as researchers at Edinburgh tackle various aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic. We recently tweeted about one such project which examined the effectiveness of face coverings in reducing the range travelled by breath, which of course helps transmit the virus. The data underpinning this research is freely available to everyone via Edinburgh DataShare.

The latest Quick Guide, the sixth in the series, addresses the ‘FAIR’ principles, which state that research data should – so far as possible, and appropriate – be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. These principles emphasise machine-actionability (i.e. the ability of automated computational systems to find, access, interoperate, and reuse data with minimal or no human intervention) as humans increasingly rely on computational means to discover and work with data as a result of the increase in volume, complexity, and creation speed of data.

These two new publications join our existing guidance on topics such as the basics of Research Data Management (RDM), RDM and data protection, and research data storage options at the University. Future topics planned include conducting research safely online, FAIR approaches to research software, and an overview of the systems and services available at Edinburgh in support of Open Research. If there is a particular topic you would find useful, please get in touch with us via data-support@ed.ac.uk or the IS Helpline.

All of our Quick Guides can be found at https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/research-support/research-data-service/guidance

Martin Donnelly
Research Data Support Manager
Library and University Collections

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