Research data documentation and training materials

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.

Screenshot of the Researcher Dashboard

The training materials can be accessed at and cover the following areas:

  1. What is research data?
  2. The research data lifecycle
  3. Policies affecting your research data
  4. Data Management Planning (DMP)
  5. Data search and discovery tools
  6. Data storage and security
  7. Legal and ethical issues
  8. Tools for working with your data
  9. Data publishing and citation
  10. Licences for sharing your data
  11. Data curation and preservation
  12. Workshops and training events
  13. Help and support

The source text for each page is stored in an open Github repository (at 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.

High-level overview of University Research Information Systems (VRE:RIM)

As part of Orbital, we’ve started to seriously consider how RDM (Research Data Management) fits into the whole range of University systems to support research information. In some contexts (usually research support/administration), we might use the term RIM (“Research Information Management”); in other, academic, contexts, we might talk about a VRE (“Virtual Research Environment”) – but I prefer to think of both as functions of the same set of systems.

Below is a first attempt to model various University research systems and what information might be shared/pass between them. This is a first draft only and will be discussed/developed over time – it’s here for comments!

Screenshot of the VRE RIM diagram

It’s available to view on Lucidchart.