Make your data count

Research Data Management Mentoring Programme

We are excited to announce the launch of the Research Data Management Mentoring Programme.

We are currently seeking a group of around six social science research projects to participate in this new initiative, coordinated by members of the IT Services Research Support Team and the Bodleian Data Librarian.

Anyone reading this blog probably already knows that the way that research data is handled, cared for, and preserved has become an increasingly high profile issue in academic circles in recent years. In 2012, the University of Oxford adopted a formal Policy on the Management of Research Data and Records.

While basic guidance and training on this topic is already available, the varied nature of research and the requirements of different disciplines mean that advice rapidly needs to become customized to meet the needs of a specific subject area or research project. The RDM Mentoring Programme aims to respond to this challenge, by offering personalized support for Oxford University researchers over an extended period of time.

Programme activities

The programme has two main elements. First, to establish fruitful relationships between researchers and research data management support staff. This might typically involve:

  • An initial face-to-face consultation
  • Advice and feedback on data management plans
  • Ongoing advice via email, with the option of arranging further face-to-face meetings if desired
  • Annual review meetings, with an opportunity to revisit and (if necessary) revise the data management plan

Secondly, to bring researchers together to share knowledge and experience, as a first step towards building a community of practice, including activities such as:

  • Seminars or other group events, where researchers can share both their challenges and the strategies they find useful
  • Discussion boards
  • Peer evaluation of draft data management plans, documentation, etc.

Although it is likely that the programme will involve more concentrated activity in the early stages, when projects are getting underway, the aim is to establish ongoing relationships with (and between) researchers.

This pilot version of the programme will initially be focused on social science researchers. We hope that it will subsequently be possible to extend the programme to other disciplines.

Researchers interested in participating should email, by 18th May 2014.

Meriel is an Academic Research Technology Specialist in the Research Support team at IT Services. Much of her work focuses on research data management.