Project outline

We’ve been summarizing the project for JISC‘s Managing Research Data (JISCMRD) programme site.

Here is a sneak preview.


The Data Management Rollout at Oxford (DaMaRO) Project will bring together disparate parts of the University of Oxford’s research data management digital infrastructure. DaMaRO will produce a user-friendly system capable of ingesting and exposing metadata, to make research data locatable and (where relevant) retrievable for citation, study and re-use.

The project has four main strands:

  • creating DataFinder, a software tool with a user-friendly interface for recording, locating and retrieving metadata and datasets created at the University.
  • supporting departments and researchers by offering training and guidance in the use of DataFinder.
  • planning for sustainability to turn the DaMaRO project’s outputs into core services.
  • continuing to develop a University-wide Research Data Management policy, for ratification by the University’s Research Information Management Sub-Committee.

DaMaRO will build on local expertise and current digital infrastructure for research data management, including several modules funded by JISC and UMF. This current infrastructure includes the Bodleian Libraries’ DataBank (the University’s archival standard data repository), DataStage instances, and DaaS (OUCS’s Database as a Service).

The tool the project will produce, DataFinder, will harvest metadata created to international standards from compliant systems and data stores both in and beyond the University, including DataBank and the Web 2 Research Management network Collective Wisdom, Colwiz. It will be developed via a semantically aware catalogue of Oxford datasets. It will be modular and federated to allow for future growth, development, and adaptation, as local and national data management environments evolve. Its use in a hierarchical structure will ultimately make it capable of harvesting data from multiple institutions, with the potential to provide a nationwide data discovery tool.


The DaMaRO project will produce an infrastructure capable of supporting aspects of the research data lifecycle from planning to re-use.

In addition to drawing on researchers as test-users of the software, the project will ask them to provide feedback on training and support materials for using DataFinder.

The project will produce a sustainability study and a business case for supporting and maintaining elements of the digital research data management infrastructure beyond March 2013.

Drawing on the institutional data policy drafted under the EIDCSR project, and relying on aspects of the infrastructure being put in place during the project, the project will refine a University-wide research data management policy for submission to the Research Information Management Sub-Committee for ratification.

Anticipated Outputs and Outcomes

In addition to the project’s website, blog and twitter microblog, DaMaRO will create:

  • a plan and materials to train and support colleagues in data discovery through DataFinder, using DataCite metadata kernel.
  • a communications plan for disseminating knowledge and outputs from the project.
  • policy documentation.
  • metadata standards knowledge and specifications.
  • software documentation and development for data storage and semantically aware catalogue of datasets.
  • a sustainability and business plan to analyse and cost ongoing management, preservation and curation of research data and its finding aids.
  • workshop, presentations and papers to disseminate directly knowledge and technical experience.
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