Researcher Perspectives

As part of the LEARN project a series of interviews were carried out with UCL researchers to gather their views on Research Data Management. These interviews were carried out in 2017 by Daniel Kordik, Daniel van Strien, Myriam Fellous-Sigrist and Matt Mahon all based at UCL Library Services.

Dr Martin Zaltz Austwick

Dr Martin Zaltz Austwick is a Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at the Bartlett in University College London (UCL). Martin’s research and teaching makes extensive use of a wide variety of data sources including government data, business data and textual data.

Our interview with Martin provides a clear example of a researcher are already making extensive use of open data and having a desire to share their own data with broad audiences. The interview also emphasized some of the challenges faced by researchers who want to make their data available as a services like interactive websites or API. A particular challenge is that whilst funders cover some of the costs associated with Research Data Management usually these don’t include funding after projects have finished to maintain ‘live’ data services. Supporting researchers in their efforts to present data in new and innovative ways is an area university support services may want to continue investigating.

Dr Jenny Bunn

Dr Jenny Bunn is Program Director at Archive and Records Management at UCL. Jenny Bunn worked has previously worked as an archivist at the V&A Museum, The Royal Bank of Scotland Archives, Glasgow University Archives and The National Archives before moving to teaching and research at UCL.

Our discussion with Jenny offered an interesting perspective. Alongside Jenny’s insights as a researcher her professional experience as an archivist also informs her approach to RDM. Jenny emphasised the importance for researchers to reflect on what data could potentially be useful for other researchers and where to share this data most effectively and whether some data should not be kept. A central message of the interview was the need for researchers not to view RDM as ‘keeping everything’ but instead as viewing RDM as a key component of research integrity.

Dr Josep Grau-Bove

Dr Josep Grau-Bove is a Lecturer in Science and Engineering in Arts, Heritage and Archaeology; he works at the Institute for Sustainable Heritage in the Bartlett School Environment, Energy & Resources, University College London (UCL). He is the Assistant Director of one of the Institute’s Programmes for MRes students.

In our interview he reflects on the benefits of Data Management Plans for research students, the technical challenges of managing data, the importance of data sharing within his Institute and the need to raise students’ awareness of good practices in data management.