The CREST Research Leads and RDMS

On 23 March 2015 the CREST Research Group met and engaged in an initial discussion about the recently-launched, JISC-funded CREST-led project looking at the possibility of creating a consortia-based research data management system. The Research Group  is made up of 21 research directors and managers from across the CREST membership.

It was agreed that this is a particularly timely project for all CREST members, be they multi-disciplinary university supporting researcher engaging in STEM-orientated research or specialist institutions whose researchers produce research outputs and complex datasets linked to disciplines as wide ranging as agricultural sciences and food security, art, design, media, performance, health, education, ageing…etc. Everyone wants to find ways – in the short, medium and long term – for capturing and curating research data with the aim of supporting researchers and introducing systems that benefit institutions and the UK research culture more broadly. However, there are costs – in terms of peoples time, expertise, direct charges for particular systems – and the more open and collaborative the discussion around available resources, expertise, proto-types, etc., the more likely it becomes that sustainable systems can emerge that can benefit all HEIs. In the end, this is really about enabling all excellent research – and researchers – to engage in and disseminate their research in the most up to date ways.

The CREST group is already extremely collegial, meeting 5+ times annually as a collective to share best-practice: this provides an ideal, pre-existing structure to enrich initiatives like this CREST-led RDMS project. It was agreed that the next CREST Research Group meeting on 23rd June would be an excellent forum to debate the draft report that I will be working with the various project partners to produce in the next few months. The Research Leads will also be filling out a survey gleaning information about current policies and systems support research data collection and curation, both from the perspective of how to support the data generated by research and the data collected by institutions in order to inform institutional and national policy. CREST Research Leads and colleagues will also be participating in a series of seminars and webinars (more on this to follow shortly) with the aim of feeding back on the various systems – existing and emerging – that might be eventually form part of a federated system.