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Research Data Management Blog


FAQs on UCL's Research Data Management


Meet the new Research Data Management Team

By j.houghton, on 10 February 2020

DATA? But I don’t use spreadsheets…

RDM is the term given to the approach taken to handle research outputs across the research lifecycle, from the planning stage of a project through to preserving outputs in the medium to longer-term, with a view to potentially sharing these with others.

Historically, RDM was associated with STEM subjects and often seen as an approach reserved only for the spreadsheet users. I suppose the problem lies with the not so academically inclusive word, ‘data’. For some, images of numbers sitting neatly in rows and columns immediately appear in the mind. And the possibility of losing these researchers’ interest in adopting best practice in RDM -simply because of language choice – is all too real.

So let me address this. In this context, the word ‘data’ refers to anything that could be produced or collected during a study. Data could be: models, software, samples, specimens, artefacts, databases, photographs, protocols, manuals, workflows, presentations, posters…just to name a few.

The UCL Research Data policy states, “Data are facts, observations or experiences on which an argument or theory is constructed or tested. Data may be numerical, descriptive, aural or visual. Data may be raw, abstracted or analysed, experimental or observational.”

More inclusive terms would be ‘output’ or ‘item’. RDM is implementable by researchers across the 11 UCL faculties to handle all outputs of research. (As for the bias towards STEM, the RDM team are working hard to address this).


So who can researchers turn to for support in addressing the challenges associated with adopting best practice in RDM? The RDM team, of course!

The RDM team can advise on topics such as:

  • writing data/output management and sharing plans,
  • meeting UCL and (where applicable) funding agency expectations, and
  • adopting Open Research practices.

We are also the administrators of the new UCL Research Data Repository. We can help researchers to publish their research outputs potentially enhancing the discoverability of their work, and capacity for researchers to be cited, through use of data citations complete with a DOI.

Along with the Bibliometrics team, the RDM team are a part of Research Support. Other teams we work closely with include, Open Access and Copyright.



Recently, UCL Library Services gained three new members of staff who form the RDM team.

Kirsty Wallis is the Head of Research Liaison at UCL. She is responsible for managing a number of teams with research support responsibilities, including RDM and Bibliometrics teams. She is also the internal lead for Open Science advocacy. Prior to joining UCL, Kirsty was the Scholarly Communications Manager at the University of Greenwich (London, UK) and the Research Support Librarian at the University of Kent (Canterbury, UK). She also has a MSc in Library and Information Studies from Aberystwyth University, a BSc in Biological Anthropology from the University of Kent, and a Prince2 certification.

Dr Christiana McMahon is a Research Data Support Officer at UCL. She is an advocate of best practice in research data management and is responsible for supporting researchers when managing data and other related research outputs across the research data lifecycle. Christiana has a Ph.D. in Health Informatics focusing on managing research data and associated metadata in public health and epidemiology from UCL (London, UK). She also has a BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Informatics from St. George’s, University of London (London, UK). Prior to joining UCL, Christiana was the Research Data Management Officer at the Institute of Cancer Research (London, UK) and the Research Data Coordinator at King’s College London (London, UK).


Dr James Houghton is a Research Data Support Officer at UCL with a background in life sciences research and academic publishing. James supports researchers in finding the best solutions for managing, sharing and disseminating their research data. He has a PhD in microbiology, specialising in metagenomics sequencing. James previously worked as an associate publishing manager at Springer Nature and as a postdoctoral researcher.

RDM Training and support

Along with colleagues from the Bibliometrics and Open Access teams, we provide training on:

Writing data management plans (Tuesday 11 February, 9:30am – 12pm; Thursday 20 February, 2pm-5pm; Tuesday 24 March, 10am-1pm; Monday 4 May 2pm-5pm)

Introduction to open scholarship (Friday 21 February, 2pm-5pm; Friday 27 March, 2pm-5pm)

Open publishing: sharing results and ideas (Wednesday 12 February, 2pm-4pm; Wednesday 6 May, 10am-12pm

Pop us an email or pop in for a chat

UCL Library Services Room 312

DMS Watson Building

Malet Place

London WC1E 6BT


E lib-researchsupport@ucl.ac.uk

T +44 (0) 20 7679 2095 (internal 32095); +44(0) 20 7679 2614 (internal 32614)

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