Dealing with Data Conference & RDM Service Launch – summary

University of Edinburgh Research Data Management Service LogoInformation Services (IS) held a half-day conference in the Main Library on the subject of ‘Dealing with Data’ to coincide with the launch of the University of Edinburgh’s Research Data Management support services on 26 August.

University researchers presented to over 120 delegates from across the disciplinary and support spectrum on many aspects of working with data, particularly research with novel methods of creating, using, storing, or sharing data. Subjects included Big Data for disease control, managing West Nilotic language sound files, sharing brain images, geospatial metadata services, visualising qualitative data via carpets!

Dealing with Data Conference

The RDM Programme team are currently collecting feedback and will report on this and the conference in more detail via this blog.

‘Dealing with Data Conference’ delegates then gathered in the Main Library foyer to hear brief talks by Professor Jeff Haywood, Professor Peter Clarke and Dr John Scally followed by the formal launch of the RDM Services by the University’s Principal, Sir Timothy O’Shea who underlined the successful collaboration between research and support service communities in establishing research support services worthy of a leading UK research-intensive university.

University of Edinburgh RDM Service launch by Sir Timothy O'Shea

A ‘storify’ story of tweets collected during the launch and the conference is available, with pictures and perspectives from various attendees.

The launch of the IS-led RDM Services is the culmination of work detailed in the RDM Roadmap which began in earnest in August 2012 following approval of the RDM Policy by the University Court in May 2011.

Details of available and planned RDM Services for University of Edinburgh researchers were reported on in the blogpost: RDM Roadmap: Completion of Phase 1

Conference presentations can be downloaded from Edinburgh Research Archive (ERA) at:

Stuart Macdonald
RDM Service Coordinator


Upcoming Dealing with Data Conference and RDM Service Launch

The Edinburgh RDM team is a-buzz this week with preparations for the launch of our services, which will be carried out by the University’s Principal, Sir Timothy O’Shea in the Library next Tuesday morning, 26th August, 2014 with 120 stakeholders in attendance.

rdm-logo-finalAlthough the RDM Policy was passed by the University Court in May, 2011, and our RDM Roadmap work began in earnest in August 2012, it has taken until now to be sure our core services are ready for a formal launch. See this post by the RDM Services Coordinator for a recent snapshot of Roadmap progress.

The launch will be short and sweet–lasting no more than half an hour. But the event is enhanced by a mini-conference, featuring researchers discussing Dealing with Data from across the disciplinary spectrum. If they mention any of our services that will be a bonus for us! The programme is available now, and a summary will be posted after the event.

For those who want to follow live tweets, the hashtag will be #DWD2014. For those who attend, be sure and fill out the feedback form at!

Robin Rice on behalf of Cuna Ekmekcioglu (RDM team)


RDM Roadmap: Completion of Phase 1

The Research Data Management (RDM) Programme is well underway with planning and pilot activity (phase 0 of the RDM Roadmap), and initial roll-out of primary services (phase 1) completed. Services include:

  • DMPonline – an online tool by the Digital Curation Centre that assists researchers to produce an effective data management plan (DMP) to cater for the whole lifecycle of a project
  • Research Data Blog – set up by the RDM Action Group to communicate progress on the RDM programme.
  • RDM Website – a One Stop Shop for all university RDM materials (FAQs, key messages, RDM planning guidance, service guides)
  • Research Data MANTRA – an online course designed for researchers or others planning to manage digital data as part of the research process
  • Edinburgh DataShare – the online digital repository of multi-disciplinary research datasets produced at the University of Edinburgh
  • DataStore – a new central facility to store data actively used in current research activities. DataStore provides all researchers with a free at point of use allocation (currently 0.5TB). Researchers can assign up to 50% (0.25TB) of their free individual allocation to shared project spaces. Additional capacity can be purchased above this, with support for very large data (>1PB) hosting available.

Phase 2: (June 2014 – May 2015) will see continued rollout and maturation of services. Services in development include:

  • the Data Asset Registry (DAR) – a catalogue of data assets produced by researchers working for the University of Edinburgh to aid discovery access and reuse
  • the Data Vault – a secure, private and long-term ‘vault’ of data that is only accessible by the creator or their representative

We are currently gathering requirements to inform design of the DAR and Data Vault services. Upcoming Roadmap milestones will subsequently tackle requisite interoperation between existing and planned RDM services.

There are a number of different groups within the university and outside with whom we need to communicate our RDM programme. These include research active staff, support and administrative staff, university committees and groups (research policy group, library and IT committees, knowledge strategy committee) as well as external collaborators and stakeholders such as funding bodies etc. This is being done through a variety of communication activities including a range of training programmes on research data management (RDM) in the form of workshops, seminars and drop in sessions to help researchers with research data management issues along with formal and bespoke awareness raising sessions within schools for research and support staff. The clear message that we want to communicate is that the University is committed to and has invested in RDM services, training, and support, and that the University is supporting researchers, encouraging good research practice, and effecting culture change.

The RDM Services will be formally launched by the Principal on 26th August, 2014 along with an associated conference ‘Dealing with Data’ which offers researchers the opportunity to present on any aspect of the challenges and advances in working with data, particularly research data with novel methods of creating, using, storing, visualising or sharing data.

Stuart Macdonald

RDM Services Co-ordinator



Dealing with Data – Call For Papers

University of Edinburgh Logo

Dealing with Data Conference 2014
Call for Papers


Tuesday 26th August 2014, 9am – 1pm
Including a formal launch of the University Research Data Management services by the Principal at 11:30am


University of Edinburgh (room to be confirmed)


Data creation
Data management planning
Data visualisation
Data archiving and sharing
Open Data
Data re-use
Electronic lab books
Data preservation
Software preservation
Non-traditional data types
Data analysis
New requirements for Research Data Management
Data infrastructure
Linked Data


Presentations will be 20 minutes long, with 10 minutes for questions. Depending on numbers, thematic parallel strands may be used.  Presentations to be aimed at an academic audience, but from a wide range of disciplines.

Call for papers:

A half day conference on the subject of ‘Dealing with Data’ is being run to coincide with the launch of the University of Edinburgh’s Research Data Management services that consists of tools and support to deal with the whole lifecycle of research data, from planning and storage, to sharing and archiving.

The conference invites proposals for presentations from University of Edinburgh researchers on any aspect of the challenges and advances in working with data, particularly research data with novel methods of creating, using, storing, visualising or sharing data.  A list of themes is given above, although proposals that cover any aspect of working with research data are welcome.

Please send proposals (2 sides of A4 max) to Stuart Lewis ( before Friday 25th July 2014.  Papers will be reviewed and the programme compiled by the 8th August. A PDF version of this Call for Papers is available for printing: DealingwithDataConference2014-cfp