How can you improve your data management skills?

A range of training courses on research data management (RDM) in the form of half-day courses and seminars have been created to help you with research data management issues, and are now available for booking on the MyEd booking system:

  • Research Data Management Programme at the University of Edinburgh
  • Good practice in research data management
  • Creating a data management plan for your grant application
  • Handling data using SPSS (based on the MANTRA module)
  • Handling data with ArcGIS (based on the MANTRA module)

RDM trainingThese courses and seminars aim to equip researchers, postgraduate research students and research support staff with a grounded understanding in data management issues and data handling.

If you manage research data, provide support for research, or are interested in finding out more about efficient and effective ways of managing your research data these course will be for you.

For detailed information about these courses please go to:

We are also happy to arrange tailored sessions for researchers and research support staff in aspects of research data management from planning through to depositing.  Please contact us at if you would like to arrange a training session.

Cuna Ekmekcioglu
Senior Research Data Officer
Library & University Collections, IS


New Data Curation Profiles: Edinburgh College of Art

Jane Furness, Academic Support Librarian, Edinburgh College of Art, has contributed two new data curation profiles to the DIY RDM Training Kit for Librarians on the MANTRA website. One data curation profile for Dr Angela McClanahan, and another data curation profile for Ed Hollis. Jane was one of eight librarians at the University of Edinburgh to take part in local data management training.

Jane has profiled data-related work by Dr Angela McClanahan, Lecturer in Visual Culture at the School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art. In the interview Angela discusses the importance of research data management, anonymisation and sharing, long term access to data, and the need to reconsider the term ‘data’ in an arts research context.

Jane has profiled data-related work by Ed Hollis, Deputy Director of Research, Edinburgh College of Art. In the interview Ed discusses the different data owners, rights and formats involved in researching and publishing a book, copyright issues of sharing data and the issue of referring to research materials as ‘data’ in the arts research context.


Training subject librarians in RDM

I have just completed running the MANTRA course for librarians with my team of 8 subject librarians at Stirling University.  A member of the Research Office attended one session and the team manager for Library Content Manager also attended some of the sessions.

We started the librarians training kit on 29 May 2013 and our last session was in December, so the course has actually changed (and improved) whilst we were undertaking it.

I think we found it beneficial to set time aside as a team to look at this issue and take our time over it!  We enjoyed lots of lively discussions.  I am Chair of Stirling’s RDM Task Force and knew that we, as librarians, would be expected to have the skills to help researchers manage their research data.  It was great to know that there was already a training package in existence for librarians.

Everybody really liked the panda film in the last section.  They suggested using that style more often.  Some of my staff thought the videos were too long or too slow.

As the facilitator I found that the instructions were sometimes not clear but by the end I figured out that I just needed to look at the manual.  I think it was really useful at the beginning to have real researchers talking about the issues.

I feel more confident that my team are no longer fearful of RDM enquiries.

Thank you for a fantastic resource and I will continue recommending it to researchers.

Lisa Haddow

Team Manager:  Library Liaison and Development

University of Stirling


First data curation profile created at Edinburgh

Following our involvement in the pilot presentation of the “RDM Training for Liaison Librarians” course, and taking inspiration from the existing model at Purdue University in the U.S., three liaison colleagues (Marshall Dozier, Angela Nicholson, Nahad Gilbert) and I took up the challenge to create some data curation profiles here at Edinburgh.  As at Purdue, it is intended that the creation of such research profiles here will enable us to gain insight into aspects of data management and assist in the assessment of information needs across the disciplines.

To this end I contacted Dr Bert Remijsen, a researcher in linguistics in the School of Philosophy, Psychology & Language Sciences, for which I currently provide liaison support. He had recently deposited a dataset in Edinburgh DataShare and very kindly agreed to be my case study for this pilot.

Drawing on materials at Purdue and Boston Universities, Marshall, Nahad, Angela and I collaborated at some length on the creation of a manageable data curation profile questionnaire for our own use. This was then forwarded by each of us to our respective interviewees ahead of our scheduled meetings with them.

Although I had been involved with RDM issues for some time, I nevertheless approached my own interview with some trepidation. However, I need not have worried, as all went very smoothly indeed!  Sending the questionnaire ahead of our meeting ensured that Dr Remijsen had to hand all appropriate information that we might need to consult in the course of the interview.

Although I consigned each of his responses to my iPad as we worked through the questionnaire, Dr Remijsen also supplied a good deal of additional information which I captured in my recording of our meeting. The ability to listen to this a couple of times after the event greatly assisted me both in my later preparation of the final profile and my general understanding of his research and its associated dataset.

Finally, and in contrast to the apprehension that attended this pilot interview, I can honestly say that am now rather looking forward to the next one!

Anne Donnelly, Liaison Librarian, Colleges of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine AND Humanities & Social Science