The University launched a data support service for researchers website to bring together all the support researchers can currently get with respect to managing their data. Our team will work with colleagues in the libraries and admin departments to grow a comprehensive research data management service.
We have made new contacts with researchers in medical division who showed interest in agent-based modelling and research data management. Within just a couple of weeks we were included in 3 different research proposals (which we should hear about the outcome soon). We also plan to submit regular IT services news to the medical division newsletter with Damion Young.
James Cummings is working with the Social Sciences research facilitator to increase awareness of our services within the division.
The graphics below show that we are making some headway with evening the spread of our support engagements across the divisions, which is good news.
- James and Meriel have started finding speakers for a series of Research Data lunchtime talks that will be delivered through the IT Learning Programme in Trinity term. This effort is helped greatly by the launch of a new research data website. Meriel has given RDM workshops for MPLS, Social Sciences, Medical Sciences, and is preparing one for Humanities. This equates to ~60 researchers (DPhils and PostDocs) attending a 2 or 3 hour session which is delivered as a lecture with activities. Meriel is also making her RDM teaching materials available online.
- Howard has failed to close the OxGAME and Jisc Software Hub projects. Part of the delay has been uncertainty when a second visit to Cameroon can happen due to a lack of funds. This will now happen in April so Howard has a concrete deadline to deliver the software. The Jisc Software Hub project will be closed soon but changes at Jisc mean there is some uncertainty how this will happen.
- The ORDS software is still under development with the Sysdev team working on the authentication/authorization code. We are seeing new clients wanting the service, and importantly they want to use the software in very similar ways i.e. a relational database view of a flat file repository of data e.g. survey results.
- The main development with respect to our ability to support researchers using specific tools is the knowledge management system feature of the replacement for RT. This will make it easier for us to do research into tools and document what we find as we go. For example we had a query about fsQCA software last week.
- The 7-week ABM course went well with more students creating their own substantive models (writing code) than normal.
Plans for next 3 months
- This is an important financial reporting period where our priority will be to make sure we close projects and invoice for completed work. This particularly applies to the Jisc Software Hub, iSicily, Leap, Catcor and Torch projects.
- Focus on our web presence: (a) Making sure we are linked to from relevant University sites (b) Updating the SLDs for each aspect of our service (c) Making more content available e.g. teaching materials (d) Using Google Analytics to monitor which content is ‘consumed’, and why. For example the graphic below shows that we have very low number of visits to our site but this picks up when you include a link to course materials within a page that gets sent on the ITLP mailing list (13th Feb).