Open resource to support PhD scholars with research data management

An online training course to help disseminate good practice in research data management developed at the University of Edinburgh is now free to use by PhD students, early career researchers and digital data users at all UK universities.

The non-credit, free online course has interactive units focused on key concepts of data management including video clips of senior academics talking about data management challenges.

There are also practical exercises in handling data in four software packages widely used by researchers in different fields, which learners can download and work through at their own pace.

Access the course and tweak it to your requirements <>

Simon Hodson, programme manager at JISC, the technology consortium for UK further and higher education, said: “When we listened to the delegates at our recent conference on data management, it was obvious that many universities feel the need to embed good practice much earlier in the careers of their researchers than they do currently.  The fact that this course is available through an open license for repurposing and rebranding will help other universities benefit from the good work that Edinburgh has already done.”

The Data Library team at EDINA, a JISC-funded UK national academic data centre based at the University of Edinburgh, produced the materials over the course of the past year as part of the JISC Managing Research Data programme.

The team chose to deliver the course online so that learners could engage with it in their own time. This means it has the potential to reach a wider community, by releasing it as an open educational resource.

Robin Rice, data librarian at the University of Edinburgh and EDINA, said: “The online course supports statements about good practice in research data management with real life stories and scenarios. It is designed to be fun, relevant, useful, interactive and timely (FRUIT!) for those pursuing a research project. The accompanying software modules for data handling skills give a deeper grounding within particular analysis environments.”

They worked with the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Studies, the School of GeoSciences and the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology to target the resources towards their doctoral training programmes.