RDM reflection – finishing the data life cycle

Research Data Management and I were a chance acquaintance. I was asked to stand in for one of the steering group despite having some very tenuous qualifications for the role. That said, I quickly realised that it was an important and complex initiative and our University is leading with this initiative.

Progressing with RDM in the University is not straightforward but it is essential.

This reflection could go off on many tracks but it will concentrate on one – finishing the data life cycle.

If we consider in a very simplistic way the funding of a researcher, it might look like this:

The point at which data should transfer to Data Stewardship may coincide with higher priorities for the researcher.

A big hurdle that RDM has to cross is the final point of data transition. The data manager wants to see data moved into Data Stewardship.  The researcher’s priorities are publication and next grant application. The result:

Data will not flow easily from stage 2. Active Data Management to 3. Data Stewardship.

Of course, a researcher and a data manager may look at the above diagram and say it is wrong. They will see solutions. And when they do, this reflection will have succeeded in communicating what it needed to say.

James Jarvis, Senior Computing Officer

IS User Services Division