OU Research Computing and Data Survey deadline extended

Participation in the current survey has been good and to allow those who have not taken part or have not completed the survey, the deadline has been extended to April 28. The survey is asking for input regarding the workflows of faculty, researchers, students and staff and their use of computing and data resources. The survey is championed by the Vice-President of Research, the Dean of Libraries and the Chief Information Officer. Data compiled from the survey will allow for decisions and planing of future services and infrastructure to better support the research and scholarly activity occurring at OU. 

If you are interested in participating in the survey, contact me and I will send you the link. This survey is open to any faculty, research, student and staff member of the OU Norman campus. If you have started the survey and have questions, please reach out and we will do our best to address your concerns. 

Data Management Plans: Do they crawl under a lab bench to die or are they alive?

Data Management Plans: Dead or Alive?
 
As many researchers and faculty are aware, the number of funding agencies requiring a mandated (dreaded) Data Management Plan (DPM) is growing. The question then gets asked, is a DMP a living document or can it be created once and then recycled over and over. Or worse, never again revisited and left to die.  A properly created DMP is a living document. The DMP is a roadmap for how data is to be managed for the research group. As such, It is easily accessible and available. And the DMP should be reviewed at least once a year and any updates or changes be incorporated. So what are some of the changes can affect a DMP?
 
Graduation and New Personnel
 
Graduate and undergraduate students eventually do graduate. When they do, their role as assigned as a part of the DMP needs to be filled. The new students are no longer the “newbies” and have the experience to be able to take on more responsibilities. Now is a good time to review your DMP and update roles and responsibilities. Performing this review is important for post-docs.
 
Infrastructure Changes
 
As we know, advances in technology are always happening. And periodic refresh due to technology changes are (or should be) a part of the IT landscape. As those infrastructures as maintained by the university, college, or department change, a DMP should be updated to reflect those changes. Even small changes to hardware, software, or an IT service can disrupt workflows as outlined in your DMP. So take the time to review when infrastructure changes are announced.
 
Policy Changes 
 
Policies based on university standards probably will not change all that much, but when they do, you need to be sure that your DMP reflects those changes. Ownership, copyright and access of the data may change the methods and workflows of your DMP and not reflect those changes may cause problems further down the road.
 
New Research
 
Finally, researchers may have a change in focus or may begin collaborative work with other researchers outside their field. When this occurs, a DMP should be reviewed to see that it includes those best practices, procedures and policies that originate with other disciplines. Any differences or conflicting workflows should be addressed and well documented as to which of the practices will be implemented.
 
 
In the end, a good DMP is never a stagnate or complete document. It needs to be regular reviewed and updated. Doing so in an ordered and regular manner will make changes seem less overwhelming and easier to document. Time well spent now pays dividends.