New release of Research Data MANTRA (Management Training) online course

The Research Data MANTRA course is an open, online training course that provides instruction in good practice in research data management. There are nine interactive learning units on key topics such as data management planning, organising and formatting data, using shared data and licensing your own data, as well as four data handling tutorials with open datasets for use in R, SPSS, NVivo and ArcGIS.

This fourth release of MANTRA has been revised and systematically updated with new content, videos, reading lists, and interactive quizzes. Three of the data handling tutorials have been rewritten and tested for newer software versions too.

New content in the online learning modules with the September, 2014 release:

  • New video footage from previous interviewees and introducing Richard Rodger, Professor of Economic and Social History and Stephen Lawrie, Professor of Psychiatry & Neuro-Imaging
  • Big Data now in Research Data Explained
  • Data citation and ‘reproducible research’ added to Documentation and Metadata
  • Safe password practice and more on encryption in Storage and Security
  • Refined information about the DPA and IPR in Data Protection, Rights and Access
  • Linked Open Data and CC 4.0 and CC0 now covered in Sharing, Preservation & Licensing

MANTRA home pageThis release will also be more stable and more accessible due to back-end enhancements. The flow of the learning units and usability of quizzes have been improved based on testing and feedback. We have simplified our feedback form and added a four-star rating button to the home page. A YouTube playlist for each unit is available on the Data Library channel.

MANTRA was originally created with funding from Jisc and is maintained by EDINA and Data Library, a division of Information Services, University of Edinburgh. It is an integral part of the University’s Research Data Management Programme and is designed to be modular and self-paced for maximum convenience; it is a non-assessed training course targeted at postgraduate research students and early career researchers.

Data management skills enable researchers to better organise, document, store and share data, making research more reproducible and preserving it for future use. Researchers in 144 countries used MANTRA last year, which is available without registration from the website. Postgraduate training organisations in the UK, Canada, and Australia have used the Creative Commons licensed material in the Jorum repository to create their own training. The website also hosts a ‘training kit’ for librarians wishing to increase their skills in supporting Research Data Management.

Visit MANTRA and consider recommending it to your colleagues and research students this term! http://datalib.edina.ac.uk/mantra/

Usage Statistics

According to Google Analytics, the following organisation’s websites were the top ten referrers to the MANTRA website for the academic year 2013-2014 (discounting Data Library, EDINA and Information Services):

  • Institute for Academic Development, University of Edinburgh
  • LIS Links (India)
  • Digital Curation Centre
  • eScience Portal for New England Libraries at University of Massachusetts Medical Library
  • Oxford University
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln (USA)
  • Carleton University (Canada)
  • Glasgow University
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
  • Jisc

Social media sites Facebook, Twitter and Slideshare provided a large number of referrals; several more came from other UK institutions, and HEIs in Australia, the rest of Europe, and North America—University Library pages especially. Forty percent of sessions came  from a referring website.

Visitors to MANTRA over the year came from 144 countries. Google searches accounted for 4,000 sessions, 25% of the total. Nearly ten thousand visits were from new users (based on IP addresses) over the year from 22nd August, 2013 – 23rd August, 2014. Here is a link to a Google Analytics summary spreadsheet extracted from our account.

We expect to have more detailed usage statistics over the forthcoming year due to moving the learning units out of the authoring software (Xerte Online Toolkits) onto the main MANTRA website.

Postscript, 15 Sept: See my Storify story, “Research Data MANTRA Buzz” to find out who’s been talking about MANTRA on twitter!

Robin Rice
Data Librarian

 

 

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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: http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/information-services/research-support/data-management/rdm-training

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 IS.Helpline@ed.ac.uk if you would like to arrange a training session.

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

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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.

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Training subject librarians in RDM

I have just completed running the MANTRA course for librarians http://datalib.edina.ac.uk/mantra/libtraining.html 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

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