Monthly Archives: August 2012

Designs on RDM

Things have reached an interesting stage.

I have been working with the University Research Computing Management Group, and have established a Working Group under this to pull together some of the relevant functions involved in RDM related work.  This includes IT Services, Academic Practice Unit, Library and Research Support Office (with additional liaison with Information Assurance).  Whilst there is no central RDM function this has revealed the various pieces of work, responsibilities etc. each of the above has.  Part of my work therefore has been to start to join things up, for example looking at specifically labelled RDM elements within training/induction events, and considering a strand of an existing research lecture series to focus on RDM within the various colleges here.

Of most pressing concern has been the need to focus on creation of an RDM website and an awareness leaflet/brochure for the start of the new term – 1 October. In terms of the website this has been quite a challenge in relation to the mechanics of establishing, within a short timescale, a living breathing site which will do a job but also meet the necessary corporate branding and style. Without neither a large team or specific funding for this it is quite a challenge balancing the need to do liaison/co-ordination work, set up, attend and generate useful notes from a variety of meetings, source available external resources for the website, develop original Leicester material, agree precise wording for the communications material, and to some extent become a designer (hoping to hand that over to the professionals when mock-ups are agreed).

I imagine similar challenges arise across most if not all of those with Transformations projects. Being successful in the bid was very useful for me as a means to raise the profile of the objectives of this project and link them very closely with the ambitions of the existing Research Computing Management Group – to develop Research Data Management within the University. That has helped to justify some of my time being dedicated to this work, and more than would have otherwise have been possible.  There is still the inevitable issue though of being pulled between this and other priorities and projects. How many of us were actually employed to do the work we want to/feel we should prioritise… and how feasible is it to move towards doing what it seems would prove most useful?

Untangling the RDM Web

The current priority with the project is working with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research on agreeing a number of pretty urgent RDM deliverables needed by the University.  At the top of the list is creating a definitive University RDM web presence in time for the opening of term – 1st October.

This will be a case of,

  1. Establishing the site to raise researcher awareness of RDM and the University’s developing approach to it,
  2. Pulling together/signposting current resources and support available in various parts of the Universtity,
  3. Referring (linking) to a host of existing good quality external resources.

The aim therefore is to have an initial early presence, and then to look at a good deal of refinement and development.