Celebrating research data management best practice

9 Mar 2017

Last month, the University of Queensland celebrated “Love Your Data Week” (13th to the 17th of February) with a number of promotions (including tweets linking researchers to key information and presentations) supporting researchers to understand the value and importance of research data, and consider the capabilities they need to implement best practice data management processes.

To align with the Love Your Data Week theme, several presenters at the “Orientation for all Academics new to UQ”, pressed home the importance of data integrity and research data management. This included an impromptu discussion about the integrated Data Management Planning (iDMP) projects currently led by the DVC-R across the University, which aims to deliver world-class digital research management infrastructure to support researchers to deliver their best research.  

Together the iDMP projects will evolve current research data management practices at the university to meet policy and best practice. They will deliver an integrated approach to research data management, in accord with existing UQ infrastructure and assist researchers to manage research project data throughout the research data lifecycle.

IDMP Project Manager, Helen Morgan from the UQ Library, noted that the first phase of the project; delivering a minimal data management plan with core project metadata, has successfully completed two rounds of user testing thanks to the input and assistance of a number of testers from across UQ. It will now undergo a pilot in March. Helen stated that this is the first step in developing the integrated infrastructure that will include seamless allocation of storage for research projects and the efficient archiving and management of data at the conclusion of a research project.

Technical Lead, Dr. Andrew Janke from the Centre for Advanced Imaging pointed out that any research project is only as good as its data, and cited a recent Harvard Business Review article suggesting that poor quality data in general may cost the US economy as much as $3.1 trillion year. At a practical level, and of more concern to researchers and the university, since February 2014 the ARC has required researchers to outline how they plan to manage research data arising from ARC-funded research. Similarly, the NHMRC encourages data sharing, providing access to data and other research outputs arising from NHMRC supported research. The iDMP projects will deliver a system to meet these requirements with minimum administrative burden for researchers.

Both Helen and Andrew saw an opportunity at UQ to develop researcher-centric infrastructure that provides UQ researchers with working data storage which can be actively worked on by both national and international collaborators. UQ’s highest impact research outputs predominately arise from collaborative research, so supporting such research is a priority. The new system will place UQ as a world-leader in collaborative Research Data Management infrastructure.

By the end of 2017 the combined iDMP projects will develop a research data management infrastructure that supports all researchers to efficiently and securely store and access research data. UQ’s best researchers will be able to work collaboratively with their national and international collaborators more effectively during their projects, and archive data easily at the end of projects.

Read more about the iDMP projects.