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Title: Research data management
Author: Scott, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 5347 7670
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2014
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Scientists within the materials engineering community produce a wide variety of data, ranging from large 3D volume densitometry files (voxel) generated by microfocus computer tomography (μCT) to simple text files containing results from tensile tests. Increasingly they need to share this data as part of international collaborations. The design of a suitable database schema and the architecture of a flexible system that can cope with the varying information is a continuing problem in the management of heterogeneous data. We discuss the issues with managing such varying data, and present a model flexible enough to meet users’ diverse requirements. Metadata is held using a database and its design allows users to control their own data structures. Data is held in a file store which, in combination with the metadata, gives huge flexibility and means the model is limited only by the file system. Using examples from materials engineering and medicine we illustrate how the model can be applied. We will also discuss how this data model can be used to support an institutional document repository, showing how data can be published in a remote data repository at the same time as a publication is deposited in a document repository. Finally, we present educational material used to introduce the concepts of research data management. Educating students about the challenges and opportunities of data management is a key part of the solution and helps the researchers of the future to start to think about the relevant issues early on in their careers. We have compiled a set of case studies to show the similarities and differences in data between disciplines, and produced documentation for students containing the case studies and an introduction to the data lifecycle and other data management practices. Managing in-use data and metadata is just as important to users as published data. Appropriate education of users and a data staging repository with a flexible and extensible data model supports this without precluding the ability to publish the data at a later date.
Supervisor: Cox, Simon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: LC Special aspects of education