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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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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Dealing with Data 2019 – Registration now open!

Collaboration Across the Nations: Managing, sharing and securing research data across space and time

UPDATE – DwD 2019 Postponed

Due to the strike action which is scheduled to happen on the 27th of November we have decided to postpone DwD2019. This was not a decision we took lightly but we felt it was for the best as we did not wish to put anyone in the uncomfortable position of feeling they had to either cross the picket line or not attend DwD2019. DwD2019 has been provisionally rebooked for the 15th of January 2020, any resulting changes to the programme or other details will be added here as and when they are confirmed.

Dealing with Data 2019 will take place from 09:30 – 16:15 on the 15th January 2020 in the Informatics Forum. This year our theme is “Collaboration Across the Nations: Managing, sharing and securing research data across space and time” and we are now inviting all staff and post-graduate students at the University of Edinburgh to register for this event.

Collaboration is vitally important to academic and commercial research in all areas as it enables the pooling of resources to answer increasingly complex, or interdisciplinary research questions.

The effective collection, processing, and sharing of research data is integral to successful collaborations, but it can also present many challenges. In particular the practicalities of co-ordinating data management across large multi-centre collaborations, sharing large data, or handling sensitive data, can present difficulties if not planned for appropriately.

Dealing with Data 2019 is your opportunity to hear from, and network with, other members of the UoE research community about how they have addressed these issues to build successful collaborations, or the lessons they have learned which will enable them to be more successful in the future.

In previous years DwD has attracted over 100 attendees from across the university to hear contributions by research staff and students at all stages of their careers and from diverse disciplines. You can view the presentations from 2017 & 2018 now on MediaHopper (https://media.ed.ac.uk/channel/Dealing+With+Data+2017+Conference/82256222)

Conference Programme – Dealing_with_Data_2019_Programme_V1.2

If you have any questions please get in touch using  dealing-with-data-conference@mlist.is.ed.ac.uk

Dealing with Data is an annual event sponsored and organised by the Research Data Service to provide a forum for University of Edinburgh researchers to discuss how they are benefiting from, or experiencing struggles with, the fast-changing research data environment.

Kerry Miller

Research Data Support Officer

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Research Data Workshops: Sensitive Data Challenges and Solutions

This workshop at the Bioquarter was attended by 27 research staff representing all three colleges, with a majority of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. It began with an introductory presentation from Robin Rice covering the new Data Safe Haven facility of the Research Data Service and and was followed by brief presentations from Lynne Forrest (Research Support Officer on Scottish Longitudinal Study); Fiona Strachan (Clinical Research Manager, Centre for Cardiovascular Science); and Jonathan Crook (Professor of Business Economics). Each speaker shared their experiences of both conducting research using sensitive data and supporting other researchers. Although they work with very different types of data it was easy to identify certain common requirements:

  • Easy access to secure data storage and analysis platforms;
  • Consistent & comprehensive training and guidance on working with sensitive data;
  • Support to meet the necessary requirements to gain access to the data they need;

In the discussion groups that followed, participants were asked about their experiences working with sensitive data, the requirements researchers needed services such as data safe havens to fulfil, and ramifications of the cost recovery model, with regard to including costs in grant proposals.

The major themes that emerged were concerns around training, data governance, and concerns about meeting costs for protecting sensitive data. There was a strong feeling that more and better training was required for all those working with sensitive data. There was also confusion about the number, location, and criteria of different Data Safe Havens now available, and no single place to find clear information on these.

When talking specifically about the Data Safe Haven offered by IS for UoE researchers, the biggest concern was around cost. The standard price was considered high for the majority of grants, which are either small or need to be highly competitive. In some disciplines grant funding is not common and so it is unclear how the costs would be able to be met. The Research Data Service representatives encouraged people to get a bespoke quote and discuss requirements with the team as early as possible, as flexibility on both cost and build specifications (e.g. high performance computing) is built-in.

Some specific points arising from the discussions were:

  • One negative experience about working with sensitive data is the length of time needed to get data approvals (e.g. from NHS bodies). Participants wondered if the University could help to speed those up.
  • More training was desired in sensitive data management and better ways to structure training for students.
  • Learning outcomes need to focus on change of behaviour; with focus on local procedures.
  • One participant felt that schools need a researcher portfolio system, some way of keeping track of who has what data. A suggestion was made to have an asset manager in the university, similar to the one in NHS.
  • Less than optimal security practices can be observed, such as leaving a clinical notebook in a coffee room. More training is needed but this is not fully covered in either clinical practice courses nor ethics.
  • There were concerns around data governance – how to set up gatekeepers for research projects using Data Safe Haven, how long to store things in the DataVault. ACCORD was pointed to for having good structure in data governance.
  • Long-running projects (e.g. ten years) would have trouble meeting the annual costs.
  • Projects are invested in locally run services and expertise; added value centralised services need to be low-cost.

Overall researchers were in favour of having a Data Safe Haven available for projects that need it, but they would also like to have support to correctly anonymise and manage their data so that they could continue to use standard data storage and analysis platforms. This would mean that only those with the most sensitive of data would need to rely upon the UoE DSH to conduct their research.

Those with a University log-in may read the full set of notes on the RDM wiki.

Kerry Miller
Research Data Support Officer
Library & University Collections

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