October 22, 2019

Two and a half years of Research Data Office

Door: Petra Ploeg | Categorie: data management, research data, Research Data Office

On October 17, the Research Data Office (RDO) existed for two and a half years. It was established on May 17, 2017 to support the implementation of the university Research Data Management Regulations. Through a virtual desk, training courses and information materials, the RDO supports researchers on the important theme of responsible handling of research data. What has happened in the last 2.5 years and what are the plans for the coming years?

Virtual desk

Researchers can use the email address researchdataoffice@tilburguniversity.edu (or rdo@tilburguniversity.edu for short) to ask questions about how to handle research data. Since the start in 2017, more than 250 questions from researchers and research supporter staff have been answered. The number of questions doubles every year. In terms of subjects, the questions can be divided into three groups:

  • questions about data management plans;
  • questions about data storage during the research;
  • questions about personal data in datasets, encryption and questions about legal issues.

Many questions are dealt with directly by the RDO itself. It also happens that advice is sought or the request is forwarded to, for example, the data representatives, IT Support, IT Back Office, Legal Affairs or the Data Protection Officer.

Training sessions and lunch meetings

For PhD candidates and other researchers, the Research Data Office organizes introductory training courses and lunch meetings. Guest speakers who are experts in a particular area, such as security or the GDPR, are regularly invited to the lunch meetings. The program for 2019/2020 can be found on the intranet. The RDO also holds information meetings on, for example, the institutional data repository Dataverse at research group meetings.

Implementation of the Research Data Management Regulations

The Research Data Management Regulations entered into force on January 1, 2018. There were two rounds of consultations with the Schools, during which wishes and needs were recorded and an implementation plan was drawn up. The Schools have started to draw up School regulations in addition to the Research Data Management Regulations.

At the beginning of 2019, the Research IT project was started. Aim of this project is optimally aligning the IT infrastructure with the research data life cycle. In the second half of 2019, a pilot will start with the Research Drive storage facility and a list of ‘GDPR-approved’ research tools will be put online. Part of the Research IT project as well is the digitization of the integrated ethics, data management, and GDPR form.

Building knowledge and expertise

The Research Data Office has regular meetings with many support units. In this way, knowledge is built up and exchanged about the storage and management of research data. There is also national cooperation via the National Coordination Point for Research Data Management (LCRDM), the IT cooperative for education and research (SURF), and the national university working group on Research Data. This has resulted in a number of products:

Wishes for the future

The RDO wants to deepen the training courses available in the coming period. Hopefully, the portal for Research Data Management will be elaborated next year. In addition, the RDO will start collecting best practices from Tilburg University researchers in the field of research data management and share these with the university community so that others can benefit from their experiences.

Want to know more?

Go to https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/rdo or mail us (rdo@tilburguniversity.edu). You can also subscribe to the Research Data Management mailing list to stay up to date with the latest news.

The Research Data Office is part of the Library Research Support unit and is staffed by Hanneke Teunissen and Petra Ploeg.


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