August 2009

Just Published: Survey of Researchers’ Views on Research Data Preservation and Access

The latest Volume of Ariadne (issue 60 July 2009) publishes an article based on recent work by Charles Beagrie Limited and Serco Consulting for the UK Research Data Service (UKRDS) Feasibility Study. It should be of interest to an international as well as UK audience as may of the issues addressed apply to research and research data  issues in any national context.

Research Data Preservation and Access: The Views of Researchers present findings from a UKRDS survey of researchers’ views on and practices for preservation and dissemination of research data in four UK universities (Bristol, Leeds, Leicester, and Oxford) and place them in the wider UK and international context.

A preliminary report from the Survey was included in the UKRDS Interim Report . Elements of the Survey and its findings were also incorporated in the Final Report of the UKRDS Feasibility Study submitted to HEFCE . However space constraints precluded presentation of all the data and findings in full in these reports and they were mainly included in a separate unpublished appendix. This article therefore aims to publish more of this material and set it in its context  with updates from more recent published studies.

Research Data Costs Survey for Keeping Research Data Safe2

The “Keeping Research Data Safe 2″ project aims to extend previous work on digital preservation costs for research data. It is identifying long-lived datasets for the purpose of cost analysis and building on the work of the first “Keeping Research Data Safe” study completed in 2008.

We are  making an open invitation via email lists and the project blog and  webpage for others to contact us and contribute to the data survey if they had research datasets and associated cost information that they believe may be of interest to the study. Please get in touch if you are interested in participating or would like further information. Expressions of Interest can be sent to info@beagrie.com.

We are preparing a survey proforma to identify key research data collections with information on preservation costs and issues which will be available shortly. Further information on the Keeping Research Data Safe2 Project can be found on the project website.

Updates to the “Keeping Research Data Safe” Preservation Costs Activity Model

An update and review of the activity model published in the original Keeping Research Data Safe report has just been published on the KRDS2 project website.

All of our project partners undertook a detailed review of the activity model. The overall finding from this review was that the KRDS1 Activity Model was robust and broadly a good fit to their activities. Some changes were suggested for use in KRDS2, mainly to the wordings of definitions and edits to the existing text. In addition, three substantive changes or additions to activities were also identified by two or more reviewers and agreed as changes to the  model :

  • The need to divide the “outreach and depositor support” sub-activity under Acquisition in the Archive phase.
  • The need to divide the development of the archive’s Selection Policy and its application within the selection sub-activity of Acquisition.
  • The need to cover staff training and development as a specific activity.

All proposed edits and revisions of the Activity Model can be downloaded here. The project team would welcome comment and feedback which can be sent to info@beagrie.com .