I’m immensely excited that the following Grade 7 developer job at the University of Lincoln (initially for a fixed term of two years) is now open for applications. Please contact me if you’d like to discuss the role. If you don’t know Lincoln, it’s an interesting, historic small city and the University’s waterside Brayford Pool campus is a very nice place to work.
You can download the job description document, and apply online, at:
Research Information Services Developer
Brayford Library Team
Salary: From £30,424 per annum
This post is fixed term for two years
Closing Date: Sunday 30 June 2013
We are seeking to appoint an innovative and enthusiastic software developer, with demonstrable experience and understanding of research in an HE environment.
Based in the Library, and reporting to the Head of Electronic Library Services, this exciting new role will lead on coordinating and developing the University’s services and resources for the researcher community, including support for Open Access publishing and research data management.
You can expect to contribute towards significant institutional change in the way research information and research data is managed, analysed and disseminated at the University of Lincoln.
Working closely with other colleagues within the Library, ICT and the Research Office, you will be responsible for leading the technical design and development of research information services at Lincoln, including research data management, bibliometrics and research intelligence, research dashboarding, and the University’s Institutional Repository.
You must have an excellent understanding of the technologies and programming languages used in developing data-driven web services to support research. You will also have successfully managed projects, have good communication skills, and enjoy working as a member of a team in a busy environment.
You must able to take initiative, be well organised and have a proven ability to prioritise and meet tight deadlines. A familiarity with the current UK research environment is also essential.
Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Paul Stainthorp <email@example.com>for an informal discussion on 01522 886 193 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the Orbital project at its end, and plans for a University research information / research data service afoot, I’m reviewing the excellent work carried out by our (now-departed) developers Harry Newton and Nick Jackson – work which linked up CKAN, the Orbital ‘bridge’ application, and the Lincoln Repository (EPrints) using SWORD – described in earlier blog posts here and here.
“One important piece of work that we’re undertaking at the moment in Orbital is the facility to deposit the existence of a dataset, from CKAN and the University’s new Awards Management System (AMS), into our (EPrints) Repository via SWORD – at the same time requesting a DOI for the dataset via theDataCite API. The software at the centre of this operation is what we refer to as Orbital Bridge.”
This deposit workflow is now broadly working as it should – I think only a few tweaks would be necessary now to turn this into a working tool for the University of Lincoln.
Most urgent is the need for the University to sign up with the DataCite DOI service, which would secure a DOI for each dataset record deposited from CKAN and hence formally published by the University. This subscription should form part of the new research information service.
The underlying code could be used for other SWORD-enabled deposit from sources of metadata (e.g. the Library’s discovery system, Find it at Lincoln), to the Lincoln Repository as the University’s bibliographic ‘system of record’.
Warning: this is an extremely screenshot-heavy blog post! Click on any one of the screenshots below to view a larger image.
Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough of the entire process of adding a dataset to CKAN, and depositing it as a record in the Lincoln Repository.
- Go to the Researcher Dashboard at: https://orbital.lincoln.ac.uk/ and click on “Sign In”.
- Enter your staff accountID and password to sign in to the Researcher Dashboard.
- Once you have been signed in and returned to the Researcher Dashboard, click on your name (in the top right-hand corner) and then click on “My Projects”.
- You will see an overview of your research projects – both funded projects (derived from the AMS), and unfunded projects you have added locally. Click on the name of the project you want to add data to.
- You will be taken to a page for that research project. On the right-hand side of this page, under the heading “Options”, click on “Create Research Data Environment”.
- You will be taken to the University’s CKAN research data platform, where a page/group will have been created which corresponds to your project in the Researcher Dashboard. Sign in to CKAN using your staff accountID (there is currently no single sign-on between the Researcher Dashboard and CKAN) and password and you should be returned to the same page. However you will probably be sent instead to the CKAN home page, in which case you will have to look again for your project under the “Groups” menu.
- Toward the top of the project screen in CKAN, click on “Add Dataset” > “New Dataset…”.
- Fill in the form with information about the overall dataset, including the following fields:
- License (N.B. US spelling!)
- Then click on “Add Dataset”
- If you now click on “Further information” tab on the left-hand menu, you can add the following additional information about the dataset (this is not obvious from the initial dataset form):
- Author email
- Maintainer email
- Summary [of changes]
- To attach individual data document(s)—which CKAN refers to as “resources”—to the dataset, scroll down the page and click on “Upload a file” (there are other options) > “Choose file” > “Upload”.
- Then fill in the form with the following basic information about the “resource”:
- Resource Type
- Datastore enabled (ticked by default)
- Mimetype (Inner)
- “Extra Fields” (user-defined, or used by Orbital)
- To deposit a record for this dataset in the Lincoln Repository, go back to the Orbital Researcher Dashboard at: https://orbital.lincoln.ac.uk/ and navigate to your project. Toward the bottom left of the page you should now see a table containing the dataset(s) you have created in CKAN for this project. Choose which dataset you want to deposit, and hit the “Publish to Lincoln Repository” button.
- The Researcher Dashboard will then display a deposit form containing the following fields (some of which should be being autopopulated from CKAN fields but which do not appear to be):
- Type of Data
- Metadata visibility [Show|Hide]
“Publishing will publicly announce the existence of your dataset on the Lincoln Repository, as well as start the process of long-term preservation of your data.“Usually you should only publish a dataset either at the end of a research project, or if the data is being cited in a paper. Publishing a dataset will place some restrictions on the changes you can make to the dataset in the future, such as removing your ability to delete the data. It will also generate a DOI, which allows your dataset to be uniquely identified and located using a simple identifier.“Please check the information in this form and make any necessary changes, as this is the information which will be entered into the published record of the dataset.“If you have any questions about this process please contact a member of the research services team for advice or assistance.”
- When you hit the “Publish Dataset” button, the dataset record from CKAN will be used to create a record in the Lincoln Repository. The record will be submitted for review by the Repository team, who will then make it live. N.B. for the time being, you will see an error “Validation errors: [doi] is a required string” – this happens because the University does not currently have access to the live DataCite DOI service, which would secure a DOI for each dataset record deposited from CKAN. This should form part of the new research information service.
- Here’s an example of a record in the Lincoln Repository, created from a CKAN dataset and made live by the Repository team.
Problems with the deposit process as it currently stands:
- Permissions are not correctly cascaded from a project the Researcher Dashboard to a group in CKAN.
- There is currently no single sign-on between the Researcher Dashboard and CKAN.
- When CKAN challenges a user to log in to a group, they should be redirected back to the group page after logging in – instead they get sent back to the CKAN home page, in which case they will have to look again for their project under the “Groups” menu.
- A minor one – in CKAN “License” (noun) appears in US spelling (should be “Licence”).
- In order to add all the information needed to deposit a dataset from CKAN, user has to click “Further information” tab on the left-hand menu (this is not obvious from the initial dataset form).
- Some of the field labels in CKAN are a bit opaque or use technical terms (“Mimetype”) which could do with explanation.
- When depositing to EPrints, some of the deposit fields should be being autopopulated from CKAN fields – this does not appear to be happening. The fields affected are:
- “Description” (could be derived from CKAN dataset/resource Description fields)
- “Type of Data” (could be derived from CKAN resource Format field)
- Repository records created from CKAN have the data “Creator” attached, but not the “Maintainer”.
- Repository records created from CKAN don’t have a link back to the CKAN dataset (should go in the EPrints “Official URL” field) – this will be required to provide access to the data.
- After deposit, users see the error message “Validation errors: [doi] is a required string” – the University does not currently have access to the live DataCite DOI service, which would secure a DOI for each dataset record deposited from CKAN.
The final within-project version of the Orbital Research Data Management training materials are now live on the Orbital Researcher Dashboard website. They have been written collaboratively by the Orbital project team, and draw on a lot of existing RDM training and guidance material from across the web (in particular, from the DCC).
We intend that these materials will continue to be maintained and developed as part of the new University-wide research information service mentioned in a previous blog post.
The training materials can be accessed at https://orbital.lincoln.ac.uk/ and cover the following areas:
- What is research data?
- The research data lifecycle
- Policies affecting your research data
- Data Management Planning (DMP)
- Data search and discovery tools
- Data storage and security
- Legal and ethical issues
- Tools for working with your data
- Data publishing and citation
- Licences for sharing your data
- Data curation and preservation
- Workshops and training events
- Help and support
The source text for each page is stored in an open Github repository (at http://github.com/unilincoln/rdm) in Markdown format. The page admin tools in the Researcher Dashboard can then be used to link to the source document, which is then formatted in the University’s Common Web Design.
These web pages will be used to support the ongoing RDM training for postgraduate students, which will shortly be rolled out to University staff.
Here are the notes of the most recent Orbital project team meeting (31 January 2013).
Present: Nick Jackson, Harry Newton, Paul Stainthorp, Joss Winn.
The project team discussed the following development tasks. The aim is for the following to be completed by the end of February 2013:
- Demonstratable AMS-CKAN–EPrints workflow in Orbital Bridge (a minimal but operational RDM infrastructure);
- Researcher dashboard to include projects and project metadata;
- Users able to display and create datasets in CKAN from within Orbital Bridge (N.B. need to check changes to CKAN APIs between versions);
- Demonstrator using the DataCite test API (until a budget is agreed for use of the live DataCite service);
- Ability to publish dataset metadata to EPrints Repository, with a complete ‘publish’ UI in Orbital Bridge (to be tested on the University’s upgraded EPrints 3.3 Repository in March) – questions over versioning/locking of deposited metadata to be resolved;
- Researcher dashboard to include analytics fom EPrints, CKAN, AMS, and bibliometric/citation services – add links to external profiles (Scopus, WoS, ORCID, Google Scholar) in the first instance. ACTION: JW to contact Planning to discuss reporting from the researcher dashboard (also data.lincoln.ac.uk; bibiometrics).
JW presented the Orbital business case to the University Senior Management Team on 14th January 2013. JW to work with the Dean of Research (Lisa Mooney) / Deputy V-c (Ieuan Owen) to discuss ongoing resourcing for RDM.
ICT are undertaking a cloud major scoping study, including RDM storage requirements.
The draft RDM policy is to be presented to the Research & Enterprise committee in April.
NJ, HN and PS are working on the display of RDM training and documentation in Orbital Bridge, with versioned text stored as Markdown in Github. Pages in Orbital can be linked to Github.
The next RDM training for postgraduate students will take place on 6th March 2013. ACTION: PS to embed a calendar feed of training events on the Orbital website.
As part of the JISC-funded Orbital project, we are starting to offer introductory training to (initially) postgraduate students, on how to look after their research data.
The first workshop is on 23 January 2013 at 10.00 in the Graduate School classroom, and there are further workshops every couple of weeks throughout 2013.
I’ll be arranging further workshops aimed more at staff in due course.
MANAGING YOUR RESEARCH DATA
The Graduate School – University of Lincoln Multiple dates throughout 2013
Research data management is an important part of the research process, and a vital part of academic practice. This one-hour workshop will include a presentation and discussion of what you should consider when creating, looking after, and sharing/publishing your research data.
The workshop will cover:
- What do we mean by research data?
- Policies affecting your data
- Data Management Planning (DMP)
- The research data lifecycle
- Practical tools for looking after your data
- Data publishing and citation
- Where to go for help
Postgraduate students can book a place on a workshop, online at: http://uolresearchdata.eventbrite.co.uk/