Welcome to the new Research Data Management Service Coordinator: Kerry Miller

We have great pleasure in welcoming a new member of staff to the research data management programme.  Kerry Miller has joined us in the role of Research Data Management Service Coordinator.

Kerry Miller

Kerry is featured in the latest BITS magazine, sharing details of her new role:

What’s your background?
I’ve undertaken research for various organisations, in industry and charity sectors –
including what is now GlaxoSmithKline and Cancer Research UK as well as the
Ministry of Defence and the British Council. I then joined the Digital Curation
Centre (DCC) in 2011 as an Institutional Support Officer. This involved working
with Higher Education institutions across the UK to help them improve their
Research Data Management policy and practice, in response to Research
Councils UK and other similar requirements.

Tell us about the new position.
My new post, RDM Service Co-ordinator, is a newly-created post, aiming to
bring together and co-ordinate all the different aspects of the research data
management work that’s currently being undertaken throughout the University: lots of
infrastructure improvements, and new tools and support for researchers. There
are things like DataShare, which has been active for a while now, but which we’re
promoting, so more researchers are aware of it and know when to use it. There
are also a few more services that are still in the design phases. You can read all
about the RDM work that is going on via the RDM Blog: datablog.is.ed.ac.uk

What particularly excites you about the new role?
The work we do at the DCC is in many ways quite theoretical; we go out and talk
to institutions about what they ought to be doing, what they need to do to meet
requirements, and that sort of thing, but this new role will be going from talking
the talk to walking the walk; I’ve got to actually do what I’ve been telling people at
other institutions to do! It’s quite scary but also quite exciting; just to see whether
or not I can actually turn that into a real, successful service.

Where exactly will you be based?
I’m within the Research and Learning Section of Library & University Collections, on the lower ground floor of the Main Library. There is a huge number of people involved in the area, but the RDM team itself is small and there aren’t that many people full-time at the moment. RDM is part of a lot of people’s jobs – people like Stuart Lewis and John Scally from the library side, Tony Weir in IT Infrastructure and Robin Rice in the Data Library, but I’ll be one of the few people for whom it’s a full-time, dedicated role.

What do you enjoy doing outside work?
I watch a lot of films, and do a lot of cooking and baking. I’ve been doing a recipe
a week from The Great British Bake Off, with greater or lesser success. I often use
my office colleagues as a waste disposal system!

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New research data storage

The latest BITS magazine for University of Edinburgh staff (Issue 8, Autumn/ Winter 2013) contains a lead article on new data storage facilities that Information Services have recently procured and will be making available to researchers for their research data management.

“The arrival of the RDM storage and its imminent roll out is an exciting step in the development of our new set of services under the Research Data Management banner. Ensuring that the service we deploy is fair, useful and t transparent are key principles for the IS team.” John Scally

 

Information Services is very pleased to announce that our new Research Data Storage hardware has been safely delivered.

Following a competitive procurement process, a range of suppliers were selected to provide the various parts of the infrastructure, incl. Dell, NetApp, Brocade and Cisco. The bulk of the order was assembled over the summer in China and shipped to the King’s Buildings campus at the end of August. Since then IT Infrastructure staff have been installing, testing and preparing the storage for roll-out.

How good is the storage?
Information Services recognises the importance of the University’s research data and has procured enterprise-class storage infrastructure to underpin the programme of Research
Data services. The infrastructure ranges from the highest class of flash-storage (delivering 375,000 IO operations per second) to 1.6PB (1 Petabyte = 1,024 Terabytes) of bulk storage arrays. The data in the Research Data Management (RDM) file-store is automatically replicated to an off-site disaster facility and also backed up with a 60-day retention period, with 10 days of file history visible online.

Who qualifies for an allocation?
Every active researcher in the University! This is an agreement between the University and the researcher to provide quality active data storage, service support and long term curation for researchers. This is for all researchers, not just Principal Investigators or those in receipt of external grants to fund research.

When do I get my allocation?
We are planning to roll out to early adopter Schools and institutes late November this year. This is dependent on all of the quality checks and performance testing on the system being completed successfully, however, confidence is high that the deadline will be met.
The early adopters for the initial service roll-out are: School of GeoSciences, School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, and the Centre for Population Health
Sciences. Phased roll-out to all areas of the University will follow.

How much free allocation will I receive?
The University has committed 0.5TB (500GB) of high quality storage with guaranteed backup and resilience to every active researcher. The important principle at work is that the 0.5TB is for the individual researcher to use primarily to store their active research data. This ensures that they can work in a high quality and resilient environment and, hopefully, move valuable data from potentially unstable local drives. Research groups
and Schools will be encouraged to pool their allocations in order to facilitate shared data management and collaboration.

This formula was developed in close consultation with College and School representatives; however, there will be discipline differences in how much storage is required and individual need will not be uniform. A degree of flexibility will be built into the
allocation model and roll-out, though if researchers go over their 0.5TB free allocation they will have to pay.

Why is the University doing this?
The storage roll-out is one component of a suite of existing and planned services known as our Research Data Management Initiative. An awareness raising campaign accompanies the storage allocation to Schools, units and individuals to
encourage best practice in research data management planning and sharing.

Research Data Management support services:
www.ed.ac.uk/is/data-management

University’s Research Data Management Policy:
www.ed.ac.uk/is/research-data-policy

BITS magazine (Issue 8, Autumn/ Winter 2013)
http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/information-services/about/news/edinburgh-bits

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Green light for research data storage and management plans

BITS thumbnailAs published in IS BITS Magazine, Issue 7, Summer 2013 –

We have received the go-ahead to proceed with our plans to establish a service for the secure storage, management, sharing and preservation ofresearch data in the University. This will build on the enabling work that has been done over the past few years, which has included: introducing an institutional policy, agreeing an 18 month roadmap, running training and awareness raising sessions, and establishing a governance structure. This has involved the formation of a RDSM Steering Group, with university-wide representation, which is chaired by Professor Peter Clarke (Physics), as well as an RDSM Implementation Group, which is chaired by Dr John Scally (Library and University Collections).

Due to the delay in receiving the go-ahead, the initial tasks over the coming weeks will be to revise the original timescales for service conception and delivery, commence procurement for the high-capacity storage and run comparisons with progress made in other institutions worldwide.

A fuller report will be provided for the next edition of BITS.

– John Scally, Director, Library & University Collections, and Chair, IS Research Data Management Implementation Group

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