Reflections on Damaro: foundations of RDM services in the Bod

One strand of the Damaro project in which the Bodleian Libraries have been leading is development of two critical systems to support RDM, DataFinder and DataBank. Now these systems are well and good, but when offering them to researchers they need to be run as services rather than being let loose as free standing tools with no support. We have learnt a lot about what will be required to run these services, that will be offered to academics of all disciplines across the University. There is much in common with running our institutional repository for research publications and which operates as a staffed service. We therefore envisage an integrated ‘research outputs’ service with common tasks and support.

One of the features that will be required is a staffed helpdesk, backed up by fulsome and easy to find information and guidance. This will in part be achieved by the one-stop-shop University RDM web site. We are also planning for staff to review deposits in a similar vein to review of deposits of articles and other publications. However, the review of dataset deposits will be rather different: the rights and permitted formats do not apply in the same way.

We have developed detailed workflows for both deposit and for review processes. These underpin how the service will operate, will ensure a smooth deposit process for the depositor, offer communication channels between reviewer and depositor, and a workable workflow for reviewers.

Before releasing the full service we need to have a number of legal statements agreed and available. These are in preparation, and have prompted some detailed discussions within the University about data ownership.

Coupled with the legal statements a suite of service policies are nearing completion, and that will underpin how the service operates. They will guide matters such as eligible users and content.

The Bodleian Libraries has developed an RDM policy which forms a part of the Libraries’ preservation policy. This policy is directly related to the University’s RDM policy and governs the responsibilities of the Libraries and data depositors.

Before a full service can be offered, not only do researchers need acess to training, but so too do library staff, so at the very least they know where to direct researchers with questions about RDM. Training for library staff has started and will be ramped up as more data services are offered and more researchers begin to interact with them.

All in all, a lot has been achieved to create the building blocks of RDM services for this University. Once they are in place, they should provide a firm foundation upon which staff can support scholars to manage their data.


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