A Consortial Approach to Building and Integrated RDM System – Small and Specialist

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See all projects | About this work | Jisc Research Data Spring

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Summary

From the project website:

"The project aims to inform small and specialist institutions on how to deploy RDM. The project focuses upon software, documents best practice and explores RDM shared service models."

From Spotlight Data: Jisc RDS Software Projects

"Key project outputs:
  1. Co-ordinated response to the RCUK Concordat for Open Research Data
  2. Three reports from Phase 1 covering RDM services, PURE and EPrints
  3. CREST RDMS survey
  4. Model for a shared appointment to implement and disseminate CREST RDMS"

From a synthesis of the projects in the context of the OAIS model, by Jen Mitcham of the Filling the Digital Preservation Gap project

"This project is looking at the whole technical infrastructure for RDM and in particular looking at how this infrastructure can be achievable for small and specialist research institutes with limited resources. In a phase 1 project report by Matthew Addis from Arkivum there are a full range of workflows described which cover many of the different elements of an OAIS. To give a few examples, there are workflows around data deposit (Producer-Archive Interface), research data archiving using Arkivum (Archival Storage), access using EPrints (Access), gathering and reporting usage metrics (Data Management) and last but not least a workflow for research data preservation using Archivematica which has parallels with some of the work we are doing in ‘Filling the Digital Preservation Gap’."

Further information

Hyperlinks to further information on the project

Collaboration

Is there potential for collaboration and/or exploiting existing/parallel work beyond the project consortiums?

A focus on smaller institutions and their specialist needs unfortunately remains a rarity within the digital preservation and curation field, and opportunities to amplify this work further are important. Although it has had less of a focus on RDM, there are some synergies between this work and that of the Digital POWRR Project in the US, and it may be worth exploring possibilities for dissemination via their network.

Considerations going forward

What are the key considerations (with regard to preservation) for taking forward the work beyond the current phase?

As explored in more detail in the Data Vault analysis, ensuring bit integrity of data as it moves away from it's source and into preservation and publication repositories remains a key challenge. In the case of the workflows described by this project, it becomes even more critical given the potential number of data transfers involved.

The RDM Workflow report (page 50) notes the pros and cons of locating long term preservation functions, such as file format identification, near the front of the workflow or later on. Trials with Data Vault, may well be useful in gaining experience on the impact of these choices and help organisations to choose (as stated in the report) which strategy will suit them best. A further option would be to generate or return a first pass file format identification on submission before repeating at a later date when data reaches the archival system, and deeper characterisation can occur. This might give the researcher the opportunity to engage further, or indeed ignore and submit without overly complicating the submission process. It raises (in relation to the point made above) what if any workflow steps might usefully occur before submission to the archive and while the data remains 'local', and how these might be facilitated by semi-automated tools?

Uptake and sustainability

What steps should be taken to ensure effective uptake and sustainability of the work within the digital preservation community?

The project has already provided invaluable input into the Jisc Research Data Service as an obvious route for taking the work forward beyond Phase 2.

Project website sustainability checklist

A brief checklist ensuring the project work can be understood and reused by others in the future.

Task Score
Clear project summary on one page, hyperlink heavy 1
Project start/end dates 0
Clear licensing details for reuse 1
Clear contact details 1
Source code online and referenced from website N/A

2=present, 1=partial, 0=missing

Key recommendations

  • Suggest adding a wrap up blog post listing key outputs and project start/end dates.


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See all projects | About this work | Jisc Research Data Spring