University support for RDM and Open Research
The University provides a research data management (RDM) service to support researchers and research students in managing, preserving and sharing research data and materials. The service is managed by Robert Darby, Research Data Manager. It is based in the Research Engagement team in the Library, and works closely with Research Services in support of grant applications. The following services are offered:
We work closely with the Research Development Managers in Research Services, to provide guidance and support to researchers where a data management plan (DMP) is required as part of an application, and where costs for use of data storage, processing and archiving resources must be included in the budget. Where a DMP is required in an application, this will be reviewed by the Research Data Manager prior to submission. For more information see the section on the Data management planning.
Research Data Archive
We manage the University's institutional data repository, the University of Reading Research Data Archive. This service can be used by researchers and research students to preserve and share the data supporting their research. We review, publish and assign DOIs to datasets deposited in the Archive.
Helpdesk and surgery
We respond to any enquiries or requests for assistance relating to the management, preservation and sharing of research data. Contact details can be found in the Contact us section on all pages of the Research Data Management website. In the normal course of business, helpdesk requests will receive a response within 2 working days. We run regular surgery sessions at locations on the central Whiteknights campus and at Earley Gate. These can be booked via UoRLearn.
Staff training courses 'Research data management: an introduction', and 'Writing a data management plan' are offered on a termly basis through People Development, and can be booked via UoRLearn.
Training is provided to PhD students via the Reading Researcher Development Programme. Courses on 'Managing research data and material' and 'Writing a data management plan for your project' are run at various times throughout the year. They are listed in the RRDP timetable.
RDM and Open Research
The sharing of research data is a core component of a wider set of open practices, often referred to under the term Open Research or Open Science.
Open Research encompasses various practices that serve to increase the accessibility, transparency and reproducibility of research. These include:
open sharing of research data;
Open Access publication of research outputs;
code sharing and release of Open Source software;
rapid communication of research results via preprints;
certification of research by open peer review;
use of online platforms for open collaborative research/citizen science;
pre-registration of study hypotheses and designs; and
adoption of methods and technologies to increase research reproducibility.
The University has adopted a Statement on Open Research to express its support for the aims and principles of Open Research. Practical guidance on how to incorporate open practices into your work is provided in the Open Research Handbook.
The Research Engagement team works with Research Services, IT and other professional services and academics across the University to develop Open Research support and foster a culture of open practice in the research community.
Please contact us if you wish to discuss how the University can help you to use open practices in your research. We are particularly interested to hear of Open Research initiatives or projects to which we may be able to lend our support.
Governance and strategy
Governance of the RDM service and University support for Open Research are the responsibility of the Committee for Open Research and Research Integrity (CORRI), chaired by Professor Parveen Yaqoob, PVC for Research and Innovation. CORRI meets termly. The Research Data Manager sits on the Committee and is happy to put forward proposals for agenda items.
The University's Research Data Management Strategy (PDF) establishes a framework for RDM governance and service provision in the University, and sets the direction of travel for service development and delivery over the next few years. The Strategy is aligned to the aims of the national research community, as embodied in the UK Concordat on Open Research Data. It is supported by a 3-year Operational Plan, owned by the Research Data Manager.