Commissioning data handling modules for MANTRA

We are seeking to commission new software-specific data handling modules in the Research Data MANTRA training resource (https://mantra.ed.ac.uk/), as the ones there have become outdated (https://mantra.ed.ac.uk/softwarepracticals.html). The online modules have been refreshed more regularly by the Research Data Support team. There will be a short turnaround for the commissioned works, which will be incorporated into MANTRA and the Research Data Service.

There is £2,000 available per module for new modules to be authored by end of July, 2024.

Screenshot of the MANTRA resource

What are the software modules in DataShare?

As an extension to the overall MANTRA resource which covers good practice in research data management, each software module contains a one to one a half hour practical to work through which will teach skills needed to handle data properly within the software environment. It is not intended to be an introduction to the software, and a certain level of proficiency with the software may be assumed (any prerequisite knowledge should be stated).

Each module contains:

  • a PDF document stepping through the practical so the learner can work at their own pace;
  • and a publicly available dataset that can be used within the practical, such as a UK government dataset or an open access dataset from a repository. The dataset can be based in any discipline but should not require discipline-specific skills to understand and use.

Currently, we have a module for SPSS, R, ArcGIS and Nvivo.

How do I submit my proposal to author a software module?

We are interested in proposals for authoring accessible data handling tutorials in specific modern software environments, including potentially SPSS, R, Python, QGIS, and Nvivo.

To be considered for this commissioned work, please send a one to two page outline of what the practical will entail in a PDF document to R.Rice@ed.ac.uk by end of Friday 28th June, 2024. Interested parties are welcome to get in touch before the outline is complete, stating their intention. The outline must include the author’s name, email address, and postal address, with or without telephone number. The outline may also contain:

  • prerequisite knowledge that the learner is assumed to have in order to complete the module successfully, such as familiarity with a particular type of software or experience of coding;
  • specific learning objectives of what the learner will gain by working their way through the module;
  • headings indicating sections of the tutorial;
  • descriptions of what will be covered beneath each heading and what the learner is expected to do, using the software of interest;
  • a citation of the dataset to be used with the practical, including the name and location.

The commissioning process

The Research Data Support team will evaluate the proposals and select the authors to proceed with the commissioned works. Notification will be by email. Authors will be expected to comply with the University of Edinburgh’s terms and conditions for suppliers, which includes transfer of any IPR to the University. Upon evaluating the material, we may choose to make edits for purposes of clarity or accessibility. Current members of staff of the University may need to receive payment through their associated unit (to be determined).

All materials for the full software modules must be passed to the University by Friday 26th July. Progress before that date will be assessed through email correspondence. An invoice for work completed must be submitted after the team confirms the content is complete and to specification before 31 July in order to be paid in full.

Robin Rice
Data Librarian and Head of Research Data Support
Library and University Collections

Edinburgh Open Research Conference 2024

Join us on May 29th for the 2024 edition of the Open Research Conference. This year we are addressing the big challenge: culture change. It is not simply enough to facilitate open access and FAIR Data. We need to embed all aspects of Open Research into our everyday practices.

Join us to consider the broad themes of culture change, along with the role of next generation metrics, education, training and skills development in this process. We will also look to other contexts in which positive shifts in culture are actively taking place: EDI, healthy working lives, and research integrity. We ask what we can learn from these contexts, and how can we collaborate to make a more equitable and open research environment?

In addition to talks on the themes of research integrity, next generation metrics, and open research education & skills, there will be rapid-fire lightning talks, a poster session, and drinks reception along with plenty of opportunities to expand your network.

Registration for in-person attendance closes on May 19th and for online it’s May 24th, full details of the conference have been published.

If you would like to keep up with Open Research news, please sign up for the newsletter, and you can also follow Edinburgh Open Research on EventBrite to find out about our future events.

We look forward to welcoming you to the conference!

Kerry Miller,
Research Data Support Officer & Open Research Coordinator

 

Keith Munro, new Research Data Support Assistant

Hello, my name is Keith Munro and on March 4th 2024 I began my new role as a Research Data Support Assistant. Immediately prior to joining the Research Data Service (RDS), I studied for a PhD in Computer and Information Science at the University of Strathclyde. My thesis studied the information behaviour of hikers on the West Highland Way, see below for a photo of me during data gathering, with a particular focus on embodied information that walkers encountered, the classification of information behaviour in situ and well-being benefits resulting from the activity. I was lucky to present at the Information Seeking In Context conference in Berlin in 2022 and I am still working on getting a number of the findings from my thesis published in the months ahead. I passed my viva on Feb 2nd, so the timing of starting this job has been excellent.

Before my PhD, I studied for a MSc in Information and Library Studies, also from the University of Strathclyde, so there was always a plan to work in the library and information sector, but as my Masters degree was finishing during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Spring/Summer 2020, I decided to take an interesting diversion, the scenic route, if you will, with the PhD! My Masters thesis was on the information behaviour of DJ’s, motivated by my own, lucky to do it but not exactly high-profile, experience as a DJ. From this, I was very fortunate to win the International Association of Music Librarians (UK & Ireland branch) E.T. Bryant Memorial Prize, awarded for a significant contribution to the literature in the field of music information. Subsequently, findings from this have been published in the Journal of Documentation and Brio.

Since starting my new role I have been greatly impressed by the team I have joined, who all bring a wealth of experience from across the academic spectrum and have also been very warm in welcoming me and in sharing knowledge. I hope I can bring my study and research experience to complement what the RDS team is doing and I am excited to be learning more about research data management. The size of the University of Edinburgh can be daunting and learning all the acronyms will take some time I suspect, but the range of research I have already encountered in reviewing submissions to DataShare has been fascinating, including Martian rock impacts and horse knees, something I’m sure will continue to be the case!

Skills4EOSC fellowship

This is a guest blog post from Clara Parente Boavida, about her fellowship with the Research Data Service as part of a European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) project.

My name is Clara Parente Boavida and I work in the Research Support Office at Iscte-Instituto Universitario de Lisboa (Portugal). I applied for the first call of the Skills4EOSC Fellowship Programme and between 11th March to 5th April I worked with an amazing team at Research Data Service at the University of Edinburgh.

The Skills4EOSC Fellowship Programme aims to address the need to promote and sustain professional roles dedicated to open research by supporting short-term secondments.

Among the three different types of fellowships, I have chosen a Research Data Support internship. This placement allowed me to actively participate in the day-to-day activities related to research data support, providing an immersive experience and a comprehensive understanding of research data management practices within the host institution.

I would like to congratulate the Skills4EOSC project for this initiative and thank everyone who has helped to make this opportunity possible. I’m grateful for the support of my institution (Vice-Rector Jorge Costa and Carina Cunha), I’m grateful to Robin Rice for the extraordinary welcome and I’m grateful to all the people I’ve had the opportunity to talk to and interact with during this month.

“the essential is invisible to the eyes”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novel “The Little Prince”

Each week’s agenda was carefully prepared with my expectations and interests in mind. The University of Edinburgh has a busy life in terms of Research Data Management. Not only in collaboration with various services within the University, but also with the external community. This holistic view has made me reflect about the different services that Research Data Management intersects with. Success comes from healthy and effective relationships with different stakeholders.

Photo collage of Clara's activities in Edinburgh.

I was involved in the day-to-day activities of different members of the team, and each experience added something new. I had the opportunity to attend face-to-face events, one-to-one meetings, kick-off meetings, as well as online meetings and events. I also took part in internal team meetings and service meetings. Informal activities were carefully planned to allow the Research Data Service team to interact with each other and to allow other teams to be involved.

I had one-to-one meetings with each member of the Research Data Support team about: DataShare, DataVaut, training programme, DMP, DMPonline, Research Data Management Policy and Metrics. I had one-to-one meetings with members of other teams: Open Research, Scholarly Communications, Research Information Systems, Digital Research Services, and Edinburgh Research Office.

I attended a number of events in person: Digital Research Lunchtime Seminar: How to interpret and analyse your data efficiently; Open Research Scotland Meeting; Open Science Framework Workshop Modules 1, 2, 3 & 4; Ethics & Data Management at the Childlight GDF Residency; Technomoral Conversations: Who is Responsible for Responsible AI?; Library Tour for Staff, and Digital Research Lunchtime Seminar: Manage, publish, share and preserve.

I also participated in online events: Updating the DataCite Metadata Scheme webinar; UK Research Network (UKRN) webinar on Indicators for Open Research; UKRN Indicators Pilot 2 online meeting; UKRN Pilot 1 kick-off meeting; Writing a Data management plan, for the Health in Social Science School; and Working with Personal and Sensitive Data. I also had the opportunity to organise an online meeting with Mike Wallis (Research Services, IT Infrastructure) and the IT Services of Iscte to answer questions about DataStore.

In terms of personal contributions, I wrote suggestions for updates to MANTRA Unit 1, part of an open access Research Data Management Training course. I had the opportunity to demonstrate the interoperability process between CRIS systems and OpenAIRE, and also how to link EC funded projects to publications and datasets.

Finally, I designed a Research Data Management Roadmap for the Iscte. This roadmap intends to guide the work to be developed over the next three years towards the implementation of a RDM Service for the Iscte-Instituto Universitário de Lisboa. It incorporates lessons learned during the Skills4EOSC Fellowship Programme at the University of Edinburgh. It is also aligned with the Human Resources Excellence in Research Award (HRS4R) principles for researchers, which is a mechanism through which the European Commission seeks to ensure that concrete steps are put in place by institutions to enhance working conditions for researchers across Europe, as set out in the European Charter and Code.