Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend the JISC Managing Research Data Programme workshop on benefits and evidence in Bristol. The event provided an excellent opportunity for the various projects funded under the programme to exchange ideas about what benefits they thought they would be able to bring to their institutions (and UK Higher Education more widely), and how they intended to measure them.
Although I was unable to attend the full two days, the presentations and discussions I did get to hear were both interesting and reassuring (reassuring in that Damaro is not alone in the challenges it faces trying to measure some impacts which are likely to be quite long-term).
For our slides, I took five of the fourteen or so benefits we’d initially identified and mentioned how we hoped to capture the information we would need to judge whether we were achieving them, and when it would be possible for us to tell. One of the key ways of measuring our success will be the Oxford RMD Survey, which at the time of writing is still open to Oxford University researchers. Hopefully, this can become an annual, longitudinal study, which will measure changes in attitudes, awareness, and research data management practices. I shall blog about the outcome of our initial ‘benchmarking’ survey in due course on this site. Some preliminary findings are included in the second slide from our Damaro presentation.
Several other projects are also running surveys of their researchers and/or support staff, so it will be interesting to compare findings from around the UK when all have been concluded.