Big data: the potential role of research data management and research data registries

DAVIDSON, Joy, JONES, Sarah and MOLLOY, Laura (2014) Big data: the potential role of research data management and research data registries. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 119 - Academic and Research Libraries with Serials and Other Continuing Resources and Committee on Copyright and other Legal Matters (CLM). In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Big data: the potential role of research data management and research data registries

Universities generate and hold increasingly vast quantities of research data – both in the form of large, well-structured datasets but more often in the form of a long tail of small, distributed datasets which collectively amount to ‘Big Data’ and offer significant potential for reuse. However, unlike big data, these collections of small data are often less well curated and are usually very difficult to find thereby reducing their potential reuse value. The Digital Curation Centre (DCC) works to support UK universities to better manage and expose their research data so that its full value may be realised. With a focus on tapping into this long tail of small data, this presentation will cover two main DCC, services: DMPonline which helps researchers to identify potentially valuable research data and to plan for its longer-term retention and reuse; and the UK pilot research data registry and discovery service (RDRDS) which will help to ensure that research data produced in UK HEIs can be found, understood, and reused. Initially we will introduce participants to the role of data management planning to open up dialogue between researchers and library services to ensure potentially valuable research data are managed appropriately and made available for reuse where feasible. DMPs provide institutions with valuable insights into the scale of their data holdings, highlight any ethical and legal requirements that need to be met, and enable planning for dissemination and reuse. We will also introduce the DCC’s DMPonline, a tool to help researchers write DMPs, which can be customised by institutions and integrated with other systems to simplify and enhance the management and reuse of data. In the second part of the presentation we will focus on making selected research data more visible for reuse and explore the potential value of local and national research data registries. In particular we will highlight the Jisc-funded RDRDS pilot to establish a UK national service that aggregates metadata relating to data collections held in research institutions and subject data centres. The session will conclude by exploring some of the opportunities we may collaboratively explore in facilitating the management, aggregation and reuse of research data.

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