New faces at the Data Library

We are pleased to introduce two new staff members who have joined the Data Library team.

Laine Ruus has taken up a six-month post as Assistant Data Librarian, helping out during Stuart Macdonald’s productive secondment at CISER, Cornell University. Laine has worked in data management and services since 1974, at the University of British Columbia, Svensk Nationell Datatjänst, and the University of Toronto. Laine was Secretary of IASSIST for eighteen years. She received the IASSIST Achievement award upon her retirement from the University of Toronto in 2010 and the ICPSR Flanigan Award in 2011.

She is perhaps best known for “ABSM: a selected bibliography concerning the ‘Abominable Snowman’, the Yeti, the Sasquatch, and related hominidae, pp. 316-334 in Manlike monsters on trial: early records and modern evidence, edited by Marjorie M. Halpin and Michael M. Ames. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1980.”

Pauline Ward, Data Library Assistant, will be contributing to the Data Library and Edinburgh DataShare services for University of Edinburgh students and staff, and helping to deliver new research data management services and training as part of the wider RDM programme. Pauline has a bioinformatics background, and has worked in a variety of roles from curation of the EMBL database at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Hinxton to database development (with Oracle, MySQL, Perl and Java) and sequence analysis at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology in Glasgow. She also worked more recently as a Policy Assistant at Universities Scotland.

Pauline said: “It’s great to be back in academia. I am really chuffed to be working to help researchers share their data and make the best use of others’ data. I’m really enjoying it.”

You can follow Pauline on twitter at @PaulineDataWard or check out her previous publications.

Pauline at her desk in the EDINA offices, Edinburgh

by Robin Rice and Pauline Ward
Data Library


Come work with us – Data Library Assistant post

Data Library Assistant

EDINA and Data Library, Information Services

£25,759- £29,837 per year
Full Time, Fixed Term: 36 months
Ref: 022330

The Data Library is working with others in Information Services to enhance and develop services to deliver the University’s Research Data Management programme. To this end the Data Library requires a member of the team to help us offer online and direct support for research data management planning and data curation, and to help raise awareness and provide training to staff and student researchers. office workersThe Data Library hosts Edinburgh DataShare, a research data repository for members of the University along with a data catalogue and a suite of research data support web pages within the University website. This is an excellent opportunity for a graduate to apply their research skills to a growing service area.

You will be a university graduate or have suitable relevant experience. You will be enthusiastic about new forms of scholarly communication such as open access publishing and open data, and working with open source software. You will be able to engage with peers in your discipline and help them to understand how good data management and sharing practices can improve their research and impact.

You will have research experience and data analysis skills as well as knowledge of publishing in an academic environment. You will have an understanding of university structures and norms.

Excellent written and verbal communication skills and up to date computer/Internet literacy is essential.

There are many advantages to working at the University. Benefits include flexible working, an excellent pension, career prospects and generous holiday provision.

Further details (please enter vacancy code 024399)

Closing Date: 29 January 2014

Contact Person: Ingrid Earp
Contact Number: +44 (0)131 651 1240
Contact Email:


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:

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!


RDM & Cornell University

I’ve been fortunate to have been given the opportunity to take up a secondment at the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER) as Data Services Librarian, the primary tasks of which are to:

  • Modernise the CISER data archive, and if possible, begin the implementation. Tasks include: introduction of persistent identifiers (DOIs) to all archival datasets (via EZID); investigate metadata mapping of archival datasets (DDI, DC, MARCXML); streamline data catalogue functionality (by introducing result sorting, relevance searches, subject classification), assist scoping a data repository solution for social science data assets generated by Cornell researchers
  • Actively participate in the Research Data Management Services Group at Cornell, assisting researchers with their RDM plans, contributing to the advancement of the work of the group
  • Actively consult with researchers about social science datasets and other data outreach activities.
  • Co-ordinate and collate assessment statements in order to gain Data Seal of Approval for CISER data archive.

Last Friday I gave my first presentation on the CISER data archive along with other CISER colleagues (they talked about datasets used in restriction at the Cornell Restricted Access Data Centre, and the CISER Statistical Consultancy Service & ICPSR) at a Policy and Analysis and Management (PAM) workshop for graduate students. This was held at the Survey Research Institute ( ) where much discussion centred around survey non-response and mechanisms to counter this increasingly common phenomenon.

On Tuesday of this week I presented on the University of Edinburgh RDM Roadmap at a meeting of the monthly Research Data Management Service Group (RDMSG – This was followed by two presentations yesterday, one at a Demography Pro-seminar (for graduate students) on campus and later at a Cornell University Library Data Discussion Group meeting in the Mann Library set up to introduce the CISER Data Services Librarian to a range of subject librarians principally in the social sciences. In each case the Edinburgh RDM Roadmap was received with great enthusiasm and engendered much discussion, in particular the centralised and inclusive approach adopted by Edinburgh. Follow up discussion and meetings are being planned including the potential use of MANTRA and the RDM Toolkit for Librarians as materials to raise the profile of RDM at Cornell.

As an aside, at a CISER team meeting the subject was raised about password protection (in some instances passwords to CISER resources are changed on a very regular basis for security purposes) and issues surrounding inappropriate recording of passwords. A site licence for a software protection software package was seen as a possible solution to both user disgruntlement and possible security breaches. As a thought, this might be worth considering as part of the Active Data Infrastructure tool suite.

Stuart Macdonald
Associate Data Librarian, UoE / Visiting CISER Data Services Librarian