UKSG Webinar Series 2013 - What is Research Data Management and what is the Library's Role in Supporting it?

The live session was held at 1000 (BST/London) on 4 September 2013 and was hosted by Andrew Cox, Lecturer, The Information School, University of Sheffield. We were delighted to offer it free of charge.


You may still register below to receive a link to a recording of the webinar.



Research data management and data curation are hot topics today. So what are the issues and how could they affect you? As an output of research, data is costly to produce and valuable if it can be reused. It is created in increasing quantity and can be complex because of research collaborations and use of collaborative research tools. Research data is hugely diverse: they could be measurements from sensors in the field, data created dynamically in simulations; they could be interview recordings or image databases. Yet data is fragile in the sense that if enough metadata about how it was created and the meaning of different fields is not recorded, it cannot be used. Many people believe data should be shared more. If it does not have enough subject metadata it probably cannot be refound. In this context it’s easy to understand why funders are increasingly concerned to see that data is managed better. A main driver in the UK is research funders mandating that researchers do formal data management planning yet supporting RDM is a new responsibility for HEIs.

Evidence, such as recent surveys (eg Cox and Pinfield 2013), suggest that libraries are taking on or planning a range of roles in RDM, as part of a wider movement to offer more support research in general (see the Auckland report). Roles will include work on policy and raising the agenda; advice and signposting; training; auditing of research assets and creation of institutional data repositories. Yet institutions will vary; it will affect different librarians in different ways. Furthermore, support will be a collaboration with computer services and research administration, and naturally with researchers themselves.

The webinar introduces the issue of RDM, libraries’ roles in supporting RDM and is an opportunity for you to think about how RDM might open up new opportunities for you. It concludes with a quick guide to key resources to find out more, including detail of RDMRose a JISC funded free to use and reuse set of learning materials for self directed or facilitated CPD on RDM tailored for information professionals.

Learning objectives

At the end of the session participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the context in which improved research data management has become an issue;
  • Analyse the role of professional services, especially libraries, in supporting RDM;
  • Reflect for themselves as an individual and for information professionals in general on the role and priority of supporting research data management;
  • Identify appropriate key reference sources and further learning materials, including the free to use/reuse RDMRose module.

Why you should listen

Supporting the management of research data is a new role for academic libraries. While you may not specialise in this area, a basic knowledge of the issues will increasingly be essential for all librarians.

Course level and previous knowledge required

Introductory and non-intensive, entry-level training for the beginner, novice or returner.


Please click here if you would like to download the presentation slides

To access the recording of the webinar, please register below. Thank you.

Contact Maria Campbell if you have any queries or problems.




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