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An Introduction to Text and Data Mining (TDM)  

By Ruth Wainman, on 14 January 2019

What is TDM?  

There are various definitions of Text and Data Mining (TDM) which cover both the technicalities and utilities of the practice. The UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) usefully define TDM as: ‘The use of automated analytical techniques to analyse text and data for patterns, trends and other useful information’. Even within TDM, there are different definitions for both text and data mining. Text mining is more commonly seen as the computational process of discovering and extracting knowledge from unstructured data. Data mining, on the other hand, is the computational process of discovering and extracting knowledge from structured data. There has been a surge of interest in the use of TDM in academia across all disciplines ranging from the sciences to the humanities. Yet undertaking TDM has also entailed a whole host of legal and political issues, which have nearly threatened to hinder the practice. These issues have largely centred around copyright, intellectual property rights, licenses and download limits. 

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Research Integrity & Research Support course for PhD students- 30/01

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 18 December 2018

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 30/01/2019 (2-5pm).

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

UKRI Data Management Plans – Guidance for Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) Applicants

By Ruth Wainman, on 18 December 2018

All applications for the UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellowships require a data management plan. As the umbrella organisation of the UK’s major Research Councils, there is an expectation that all UKRI-funded research is ‘to be made available to the research community in a timely and responsible manner unless there are exceptional reasons why this cannot happen’. Researchers are also advised to consult the Research Council common principles on data policy as this provides the overarching framework for the individual UK research councils.

These rest of the data management plan should follow the template and guidance provided by the URKI. Plans can be up to three-pages long but can be as little as a quarter of a page of A4 for less complex research projects. The data management plan must also demonstrate how ‘the applicant will meet, or already meets their responsibilities for research data quality, sharing and security’.

You can also find a template for the UKRI data management plan on DMP Online.

Further Resources

Oral History and Research Data Management

By Ruth Wainman, on 17 December 2018

Oral history can be a complicated beast when it comes to issues surrounding consent and ethics. Firstly, oral history is considered both a methodology and a field of study so this inevitably complicates things for researchers. As a field of study that has developed into its current form over the past fifty years, oral history has always concerned itself with giving a voice to the powerless, the marginalised and disenfranchised in society. As the field has developed over the years, so too have questions about the practice of oral history. After all, the very foundations of oral history relies on talking and listening to our subjects in order to record and preserve their memories for future generations. Yet, the academic pursuit of oral history has also raised numerous questions about the types of histories we record and the dynamics at play between researchers and their subjects. Indeed consent and ethics have always been a central concern of oral history. But when it comes to addressing these issues, oral historians need to strongly bear in mind that they are not only abiding by the professional standards of the field but also respecting the wholly collaborative nature of the interview. This guide will aim to provide an overview of the debates concerning consent in oral history and the issues it raises in research data management for researchers at UCL and beyond.

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How and where can students find data to re-use in a research project?

By Ruth Wainman, on 14 December 2018

This guide will aim to provide some useful advice for students on finding data to re-use during their research projects.

Data Resources Online

You may want to start by using UCL Explore to search for research studies based on secondary datasets. From there, you can consult the Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data.org) – a global repository of research data. It is also best kept in mind that different datasets require different permissions. If you are planning to use safeguarded or controlled access data, you will need to abide by additional conditions for accessing it. For example, this may include specific forms of citation, depositor permission to registration and authentication of the users of the data. There are plenty of online courses to help you navigate your way through the use of digital datasets. The University of Edinburgh run an online research data management training programme called MANTRA to help researchers learn how to manage their digital data. Furthermore, the UK Data Service provides a range of dataset and topic guides along with video tutorials on how to use data.

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Research IT & Data Management drop-ins: new dates in 2019

By Myriam Fellous-Sigrist, on 11 December 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.

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How should I use social media as a research source?

By Ruth Wainman, on 11 December 2018

The rapid growth of social media has inevitably led to a wealth of data into all aspects of our everyday lives. At the same time, this has been accompanied by concerns about how we use data harvested from social media sources. There is already a growing literature out there on the ethical implications of using social media and so this FAQ will aim to briefly summarise some of key arguments that researchers will need to consider.

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UCL Bibliometrics Town Hall

By Daniel Van Strien, on 26 November 2018

Developing a policy for metrics at UCL

UCL has been developing a set of principles on the responsible use of bibliometrics and other ways to measure research. This builds on UCL’s signing of the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment in 2015; responsible evaluation practices in the 2017 UCL Academic Careers Framework; and UCL’s commitment to Open Science.

This Town Hall meeting and panel discussion aims to get feedback on the proposed principles, which we are planning to develop into a formal policy in the coming year, and to discuss the issues surrounding the use of quantitative research metrics.

The meeting will be followed by a public survey on the use of metrics and the proposed principles, to gather additional feedback from those unable to attend.

Registration for the event (via Eventbrite)

Schedule

Introduction – Professor David Price, Vice-Provost (Research)

Responsible metrics in practice – Dr. Elizabeth Gadd, Loughborough University

Overview of the new principles – Dr. Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Libraries)

Panel discussion and public questions

Up and Coming Events

By Ruth Wainman, on 8 November 2018

We are pleased to announce the following workshops and events taking place in the up and coming weeks.

Knowledge Quarter Codes Technical Social – 21 November 2018

The popular UCL Research Programming Technical Socials are now expanding under the name ‘Knowledge Quarter Codes’ in order to welcome participation from academic and industrial organisations across the Knowledge Quarter – the area within a 1-mile radius of King’s Cross station. This is an informal event aimed at anyone with an interest in the computational methods and technology behind research and innovation. The next event will be hosted by Prof. Luca Vigano from King’s College London on Explainable Security – a new paradigm in security research.

This event will take place in UCL’s Chandler House premises on the 21 of November from 5pm to 6:30pm. You can register for the event here.

Dive into Data Challenge 2019

UCL researchers from across all disciplines are cordially invited to take part in the Dive into Data Challenge 2019. Researchers are encouraged to develop novel and innovative ways to analyse and/or data from the Consumer Data Research Centre to gain insights into UCL’s Grand Challenges priority themes through data re-use. Participants will also have the chance to win a £500 prize and present their work at the UCL Conference in June 2019. 

  • Deadline for expression of interest and brief summary submission is 18 January 2019.
  • Any questions you have about the challenge can be answered at the next RITS drop-in sessions on 15 November and 12 December 10am-12pm.

More information on the challenge is available here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/research/domains/eresearch/diveintodata

Digital Skills Development Opportunities

There are new dates available for Digital Skills Development courses and workshops for both staff and students. These workshops will cover sessions on Excel, Word, STATA, R, Unix, Photoshop plus many more. A weekly drop is also provided for individual guidance. A full schedule can be found here.

How to Share your FAIR Data – 25th October 2018

By Ruth Wainman, on 29 October 2018

The Research Data Management team recently hosted a session on data sharing as part of Open Access week (22nd-28th of October). For further details about the event, see the Open Access webpages.