Writing Effective Data Management Plans – 2nd May, 14:00-16:00

By Daniel Van Strien, on 20 April 2018

Research Data Management (RDM) is an increasingly important skill for researchers across all disciplines and career stages.

Research funders are increasingly introducing new requirements around Data Management as part of the application process. Often researchers will be asked to produce a Data Management Plan as part of a funding application or be required to share data at the end of a project.

This workshop will provide a practical overview of the major issues in RDM including how to meet funder requirements, how to effectively store data during your project, and making decisions about whether to share research data. As part of the workshop participants will begin to develop a datamanagement plan.

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • identify the main considerations in RDM for their project
  • understand how to comply with funder policies
  • make more informed decisions about effective data sharing
  • produce an effective Data Management Plan

This session will take place on the 2nd of May, 14:00-16:00. Further details and booking available through Organisational Development

UCL Open Science Day: developing open scholarship at UCL

By Daniel Van Strien, on 19 April 2018

Free event for UCL researchers and staff.

This one day workshop will explore the facets of Open Science and how these are/could be pursued by UCL researcher. In the morning speakers will discuss different aspects of and perspectives on Open Science with afternoon workshops offering practical advice. There will also be opportunity to discuss the steps UCL should take to support Open Science. This free event will be open to all UCL staff and is delivered by UCL Library Services with support from UCL Organisational Development.

Speakers include:

  • Prof. David Price, Vice-Provost (Research), UCL
  • Dr Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost, UCL Library Services
  • Catriona MacCallum, Director of Open Science, Hindawi
  • Emily Sena, University of Edinburgh
  • James Wilsdon, University of Sheffield
  • Simon Hettrick, Sustainable Software Institute

Afternoon workshops will cover:

  • How do we make Open the default at UCL
  • How to make your data open (and FAIR)?
  • Citizen Science
  • Open Peer review

Registration availble via Eventbrite. Please contact lib-researchsupport@ucl.ac.uk with any questions.

Last course on Research Integrity & Research Support for PhD students- 24/04

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 28 March 2018


Photo by A.Wilkinson / CC BY

This regular training course introduces PhD students to research support available during the course of their studies. It is relevant for all PhD students, whatever the stage reached in their project and is applicable to all disciplines.

The half-day session focuses on Research Integrity, Research Data Management, Data Protection, Research Ethics, Open Access and Research IT. The course highlights good practices in these areas, explains the expectations of researchers and points them to relevant UCL support services.

The last session of this academic year will take place on Tuesday 24/04 (10am-1pm).

Booking information is available on the Doctoral Skills Development Programme website.

An afternoon with the UK Data Service – 16/05, 2pm

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 28 March 2018

UKDS logoUCL Library Services is pleased to invite UCL staff to an afternoon of information and discussion about the UK Data Service (UKDS).

The UKDS is funded by the ESRC to meet the data needs of researchers, students and teachers in the Social Sciences and Humanities. Its collection includes major UK government-sponsored surveys, cross-national surveys, longitudinal studies, UK census data, international aggregate, business data, and qualitative data.

Participants will learn how to access these collections as well as how to deposit their own research data and sources in the UKDS repository, ReShare. During the drop-in session participants will be able to ask questions about data sharing, ESRC data management plans, consent procedures, data storage, encryption and more.

The event will take place in the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) Common Ground.IAS logo

See the programme and book your place.


Research IT & Data Management drop-ins: Term 3

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 22 March 2018

The Research Data Management and Research IT teams run regular drop-in sessions. These sessions are open to all UCL research staff and research students and will be attended by someone from the Research Data Management team as well as representatives from all of the RITS service areas; if you have any questions or problems related the following areas, you should find someone there who can help:

  • research programming
  • workflow automation
  • finding tools and services for your research programmes
  • high performance computing
  • handling large datasets
  • handling sensitive data
  • data storage
  • Research Data Management (including Data Management Plans).

There’s no need to book, but we can make sure there’ll be someone there to help with your problem if you email rits@ucl.ac.uk ideally two days before the session.

Read the rest of this entry »

Possible disruption to Research IT & Data Management drop-in on 13 March

By Daniel Van Strien, on 9 March 2018

As a result of ongoing UCU strike action there is likely to be reduced availability for support at the next Research IT and Data Management drop-in on the 13th March.

Future dates are advertised on the Research IT services page.



AHRC – new Data Management Plan requirements

By Daniel Van Strien, on 20 February 2018

From Monday 29th March 2018, the AHRC will be removing the requirements for Technical Plans and replacing these with a new Data Management Plan requirement. This will be mandatory for all Research Grants, Follow on Funding and Leadership Fellows proposals.

What does this mean for your proposal?

If you are currently in the process of developing a Technical Plan as part of an application you will need to submit it before the requirements change (29th March 2018). After this data all projects will require a Data Management Plan.

How to complete a Data Management Plan?

We have a guidance on our webpage on completing Data Management Plans. UCL’s Research Data Support Officers can review draft Data Management Plans emailed two weeks before submission deadlines. DMPOnline will include templates for the new plan alongside templates for the technical plan during the overlap of the two systems.

You can find further information on the changes from the Digital Curation Centre and on the AHRC website.

Researchers’ perspectives on Research Data Management – Martin

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 16 February 2018

In 2017 we conducted a series of short interviews as part of the LEARN project. We asked several UCL researchers about data management and data sharing in their disciplines.

Dr Martin Zaltz Austwick is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (Bartlett). Martin’s research and teaching makes extensive use of a wide variety of data sources including government data, business data and textual data.

Our interview with Martin provides a clear example of how researchers are already making extensive use of open data and have a desire to share their own data with broad audiences. The interview also emphasized some of the challenges faced by researchers who want to make their data available as a services through interactive websites or APIs. A particular challenge is that whilst funders cover some of the costs associated with Research Data Management usually these don’t include funding after projects have finished to maintain ‘live’ data services. Supporting researchers in their efforts to present data in new and innovative ways is an area university support services may want to continue investigating.

Watch Martin’s 5-minute interview (opens a new window in Youtube).

Martin's interview

Researchers’ perspectives on Research Data Management – Jenny

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 15 February 2018

In 2017 we conducted a series of short interviews as part of the LEARN project. We asked several UCL researchers about data management and data sharing in their disciplines.

Dr Jenny Bunn is a lecturer in UCL Department of Information Studies; she is the Program Director for the MA/Diplomate/Certificate in Archive and Records Management. She previously worked as an archivist at the V&A Museum, The Royal Bank of Scotland Archives, Glasgow University Archives and The National Archives before moving to teaching and research at UCL.

Alongside Jenny’s insights as a researcher, her professional experience as an archivist also informs her approach to Research Data Management (RDM). She emphasised the importance for researchers to reflect on three questions: what data could potentially be useful for other researchers; where to share this data most effectively; and whether some data should not be kept. A central message of the interview was the need for researchers not to view RDM as ‘keeping everything’ but instead as viewing RDM as a key component of research integrity.

Watch Jenny’s 7-minute interview (opens a new window in Youtube).

Jenny's interview

Love Data Week research data case studies: DCAL data archive

By Daniel Van Strien, on 15 February 2018

This week is Love Data Week an international event ‘to raise awareness and build a community to engage on topics related to research data management, sharing, preservation, reuse, and library-based research data services.’ As part of Love Data Week, a number of free events are taking place across Bloomsbury. We will also be publishing short research data case studies as part of Love Data Week. These case studies cover a range of disciplines and types of data generated accross UCL.
This case study looks at the Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre data archives which collects 20 years of  data outputs produced by researchers in the centre.

Research Area: Deafness Cognition and Language Research

Dr Kearsy Cormier is a Reader in Sign Language Linguistics at DCAL and affiliated with the UCL Linguistics research department. Dr Cormier is interested in the linguistic structure of sign languages, especially British Sign Language (BSL) and in visual aspects of language more generally.

About the project

 The Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL) Research Data Archive is an archive of 10 years’ worth of research data and associated metadata collected and analysed by Kearsy Cormier and around 20 other colleagues at the Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre, covering a range of projects on linguistics, psycholinguistics, neuroscience in the field of deafness and sign language studies.

Project funding

DCAL was funded as an ESRC research centre from 2006 to 2016 and this archive documents all the data collected and analysed by DCAL-funded projects during that time. The aim is to add to it as DCAL continues with core UCL funding.

Research Data

A wide range of data features in the archive including Survey, Behavioural Experiment, Naturalistic Linguistics, Data, Observation, Neuroscience Experiment, Questionnaire. Participants were deaf and hearing sign language users, adults and children. As this population is quite small, opportunity sampling was used. Adults were recruited from the DCAL Participant Database, established during the life of DCAL, which by the end of 2015 contained around 800 potential participants. Children were recruited primarily through schools.


Data from these projects were stored in a number of local storage facilities including a secure server at DCAL, Experimental Psychology facilities and at the Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience.

Data sharing

The data are archived with UCL Digital Collections. As part of the process of setting up this archive a Data Archive and Management Policy was developed in consultation with many relevant units within UCL involving data protection, ethics, legal issues, research retention and so on.

Student involvement

Students have been involved in a number of projects included in the archive. The materials in the archive will also contribute to student teaching.


The process of archiving multimedia data from projects spanning 20 years raised a number of challenges. An initial challenge was to identify and detail of the data to be included in the archive. This can be difficult for legacy data because researchers may have left the institution, data may be incomplete and in some cases lost. The other main issues related to dealing with the anonymisation of video data, copyright and legal issues, preservation, format, and processing issues as well as challenges relating to cataloguing and processing the collection.

Further information

This archive offers a valuable case study for projects wanting to provide a subject specific collection of research data which includes historical materials. You can read more about some of the challenges and issues faced by this project in a forthcoming paper (accessible from 05/07/2018).