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Research Data Management Blog


FAQs on UCL's Research Data Management


Research IT & Data Management drop-ins – autumn 2019 dates

By Tina Johnson, on 4 September 2019

The Research Data Management team and Research IT Services jointly run regular drop-in sessions.  These sessions are open to all UCL research staff and research students. 

Someone from the Research Data Management team will be there to support you with

– at all stages of the research lifecycle.

If you’d like to come along to one of drop-in sessions, please contact the RDM team at lib-researchsupport@ucl.ac.uk with a summary of your research data query beforehand.

Representatives from all of the RITS service areas teams will also be on hand to answer questions or problems related the following areas:

  • research programming
  • workflow automation
  • finding tools and services for your research programmes
  • high performance computing
  • handling large datasets
  • handling personal and GDPR special category data
  • data storage

For RITS queries, there’s no need to book, but the RITS team 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.

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Call for contributions: Managing research data in the humanities

By Tina Johnson, on 4 June 2019

The (ALLEA) E-Humanities Working Group is seeking feedback on its draft guidance for humanities researchers working with data:

Recommendations for Sustainable and FAIR Data Sharing in the Humanities

Deadline: 15 July 2019

There is a growing consensus that research data needs to be FAIR – Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable.  That is, it must be managed, organised, preserved, and open to scrutiny and reuse. For this to happen requires a collective rethink of the role of data in the research lifecycle and a change in organisational culture and practices, both across the UK and internationally.

Read the rest of this entry »

UCL Open Science Day – 23 May 2019

By Tina Johnson, on 10 May 2019

Free workshop for all UCL researchers and staff. Registration is now open.

UCL Open Science Day: developing open scholarship at UCL

8 Pillars of Open Science

A year on from LERU‘s publication of Open Science and its role in universities: a roadmap for cultural change, and following the success of the last year’s workshop, UCL Open Science Day 2019 will explore what open science – or open scholarship – will mean for a UCL researcher in its different applications, and how best the UCL research community can make the practical changes needed.

Thursday 23 May 2019 9.30-4pm

Institute of Education (IOE), 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL View Map

This event is organised by UCL LIbrary Services, with Scientific Knowledge Services, UCL (University College London) and in collaboration with UCL Press and LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries).

Email contact: lib-researchsupport@ucl.ac.uk.

Blog updated 22 May 2019

Research Data Repository launch 5 June 2019

By Tina Johnson, on 8 May 2019

UCL Research Data Repository

UCL institutional Research Data Repository was launched June 2019

After 2 years of collaboration with provider Figshare, the Research Data Repository is live!  This free, open service will allow all UCL researchers (doctoral and beyond) to publish, preserve and share data underpinning research – or other potentially useful data.  Free, open access to data is central to FAIR data principles and enables replicable research – key aspects of Open Science.

On 5 June 2019, UCL researchers, PhD students and staff joined  Library Services and Research IT Services teams to celebrate the launch.

Find out more information about the UCL Research Data Repository  and Research Data Repository FAQs on the UCL Research Data Management Repository webpages

5 reasons to use the UCL Research Data Repository

  • repository storage complies with research funder requirements to preserve research data for 10 years or more
  • publishing data as a research output takes little further effort and makes your research more discoverable and citable
  • greater impact and visibility will enhance your academic profile
  • published data can be validated and tested by others – a sign of robust methodology
  • sharing data is likely to become a key performance indicator as research practices become more open

Additional benefits of sharing your data publicly

  • making your data available can lead to new collaborations and partnerships
  • allowing data to be reused and avoiding doubling up makes the best use of funding
  • published data provides great resources for education and training

The Research Data Management team plans to deliver tailored training on using the UCL Data Repository later this year at different UCL departments.

Join UCL Reproducibility

Subscribe to the UCL reproducibility mailing list for news and updates, invitations to contribute and training opportunities. 

Attend a Reproducibilitea talk

See more information and 2019 ReproducibiliTea UCL topics and dates.

Colleagues from all disciplines, sceptics and non-UCL, welcome.

Research Data Management blogs

Further reading

This blog was updated 13 June 2019.


Making UCL research reproducible

By Tina Johnson, on 15 April 2019

The call for Open Access to research

Progress on sharing research has been gradual since the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2006) and the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment – or DORA (2012).  Last year’s publication of Open Science and its role in universities: a roadmap for cultural change by LERU, lead-authored by Dr Paul Ayris, has helped shift the debate from theory to practice.  In September 2018, cOAlition S – a consortium of 12 European research funders – called for public-funded research to be published in compliant Open Access (OA) journals or platforms by 1 January 2020. The resulting guidance document, Plan S: Making full & immediate Open Access a reality, has been largely welcomed by the research community for its 10 principles:

Plan S principles:

  1. the author retains unrestricted copyright – a Creative Commons licence where possible
  2. robust criteria and requirements are in place for OA journal and platform services
  3. funders collaboratively establish and support OA journals and infrastructures
  4. funders or universities cover OA publication fees, not individuals as a rule
  5. standardised funding and capping of OA fees apply across Europe
  6. universities, research organisations and libraries align their policies and strategies
  7. monograph and book publishing practices will require more time to change
  8. open archives and repositories are important
  9. hybrid Open Access models are NOT compatible with these principles
  10. funders will monitor compliance and sanction non-compliance

The UCL response to Plan S

Published January 2019, the UCL response to Plan S fully endorses Open Access in scholarly publishing, calling for “a wholesale rethink of the strategy and timelines for moving to 100% Open Access”, with:

  • more engagement with universities, learned societies and researchers before implementation
  • more detail on how Open Access publishing could work in different subject disciplines
  • a more realistic timeline of years not months to allow universities to apply DORA recommendations and set up appointment and promotions frameworks
  • more detail and thought on how publishing fees and Article Processing Charges (APCs) could work, with a risk assessment
  • worldwide engagement, as Europe is too small a player to make global changes


The Road to Reproducibility diagram showing Challenges, Answers, Support Mechanisms and Incentives

The Road to Reproducibility: UCL draft Research Reproducibility policy April 2019

Draft UCL statement on reproducibility

On 10 April, UCL colleagues met for a UCL Research Reproducibility Town Hall discussion on the approach and actions needed to improve research standards through replicability.  Under specific discussion was a draft UCL statement on reproducibility in researchEmail contact: ovpr@ucl.ac.uk


UCL Open Science Day 23 May

Join us on Thursday 23 May 2019 9.30 – 4pm

Logan Hall, Institute of Education (IOE), 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL View Map

This free UCL Library workshop will “explore the facets of Open Science and how these are, or could be, pursued by UCL researchers”, with morning discussions and afternoon workshops offering practical advice.

Morning talks include Registered Reports and the UKRNProf Chris Chambers (Cardiff University), cognitive neuroscientist, expert in registered reports and co-founder of the UK Reproducibility Network (UKRN).


Join UCL Reproducibility

Subscribe to the UCL reproducibility mailing list for news and updates, invitations to contribute and training opportunities. 

The next talk is on Thursday 23 May and part of the UCL Open Science Day 2019

Attend a Reproducibilitea talk

See more information and 2019 ReproducibiliTea UCL topics and dates.

Colleagues from all disciplines, sceptics and non-UCL, welcome.

ReproducibiliTea UCL talks so far:

  1. Nosek et al: ‘Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science‘ (Science, 2015)
  2. Marcus Munafò et al: ‘A Manifesto for Reproducible Science‘ (2017)
  3. Halsey et al: The Fickle p Generates Irreproducible Results (2015)

The ReproducibiliTea journal club is supported by the UCL Researcher-led Initiative Award, and the UK Reproducibility Network has helped to spread the club to a number of universities.


UCL Open Access policy development:

Key documents in the Open Scholarship movement

Media articles


This blog was updated 12 June

Opening UCL: roadmap for a new higher education landscape

By Tina Johnson, on 12 April 2019

Perspectives for Open Education at UCL

The UCL Open Education project recently hosted Opening UCL, a symposium on Open Education to explore the current landscape in open education practice in higher education. Some highlights include:

UCL Connected Curriculum (Dilly Fung)

OER were shown to foster learning, digital literacy, creativity, student engagement, and collaboration across disciplines.

UCL Library Services and Digital Education, co-hosts, introduced the UCL Roadmap for Open Education.  By 2021, open education will be embedded within the UCL community via supporting policies, infrastructure, and a connected curriculum of research-based teaching frameworks and student-generated research, to include:

Also read a full account of Opening UCL by Susan Koseoglu, Goldsmiths College.

Further Reading

Digital preservation – not forgetting the software

By Tina Johnson, on 11 April 2019

Why preserve software?

Digital preservation tends to focus on making data or digital objects open, FAIR and in the correct format for future use. But what about the software applications needed to store, retrieve and manipulate these data? Operating systems, hardware, licences and web hosting organisations all change over time.  So, good research requires us to understand and preserve the software supporting our research data.

Software can have intrinsic value, e.g. when a computer model and data together make up the research output, in the growing field of Data Science and Computing, or with legacy software.  Software development is also gaining recognition as an important element in research methodology – deserving of citation, academic recognition and funding.  Similarly, algorithms are set to play a major role in improving replicability in research.

Software preservation events April and May 2019

Digital and software preservation events

(organised by the Digital Preservation Coalition)

‘Insert Coin to Continue: Briefing Day on Software Preservation’  7 May 10-4pm

Access the live stream and recording from this event.

Sponsored by Jisc, this workshop is for all those interested in digital and software preservation. Course requirements: basic knowledge of digital content and the challenges to preserving it.

‘Counting on Reproducibility: Tangible Efforts and Intangible Assets’ 29 May 10-4pm 

(title changed from ‘Financial Planning for Digital Preservation’)

Venue: Birmingham, B1 2EP.  Booking is available.  Places are limited to 3 per organisation.

How UCL can help you preserve and share software

Software preservation: helpful resources

Digital Preservation Coalition webinars

Futher Reading

blog updated 8 May 2019

Research Integrity & Research Support course for PhD students- 27/03

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 13 March 2019


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 next session will take place on Wednesday 27/03/2019 (10am-1pm).

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

Digital skills courses & drop-ins – Term 2

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 5 February 2019

Students and staff can book new ISD courses to develop their skills in a wide range of topics, including bibliographic software, data analysis, databases, graphic applications, SharePoint, UNIX, R, spreadsheets and more.

Digital skills drop-ins are also available during term time, on Wednesdays.

Find more information about dates, locations and how to book the courses.



Love Data Week – free events: 11-15/02

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 5 February 2019

The 4th international Love Data Week is celebrated across the world between the 11 and 15/02/2019. Free events are taking place in London and the UK, including:

  • The Birkbeck Library will run many sessions, open to all; topics include: Data Management Plans, NVivo, Open data and the GDPR. See full list of events and registration.
  • The University of Liverpool Library and the LJMU Library also have several events on topics such as publishing and Gale Digital Scholar Lab. See full list

And as usual, the UK Data Service will be running free webinars about data management, finding and re-using data.

More events are taking place across the world, follow #lovedata19 for updates!