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Pre-DAFx Software Carpentry Bootcamp

I've spent the past week and a half in York for the annual Digital Audio Effects (DAFx) conference. On the Thursday to Saturday prior to the conference, the Sound Software project was running a free three-day Software Carpentry workshop for audio researchers. The aim of the Software Carpentry programme is to introduce researchers without (much) programming training - but with a need to programme - to the basics of software engineering best practice.

Digital Research 2012

On 10th and 11th September, I attended the first two days of Digital Research 2012 at St. Catherine's College, Oxford. Sadly, I couldn't stay for the third day as I had to be back for an institutional Research Data Curation project board meeting at Queen Mary.

Evaluating Training Materials

Evaluation of RDM training materials will take the form of pre- and post-training surveys - to assess skills beforehand, and to evaluate individual responses to the course afterwards.

The basis for evaluating the training materials will be Kirkpatrick's Four Level Evaluation Model. This looks at four different types of outcomes from learning:

  • Reaction - to the course ("motivation" may be more appropriate)

Review of Existing Resources: (ii) Vitae Researcher Development Framework

The Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) categorises the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of researchers and uses this as a foundation to guide the development of researcher skills.

In April 2012, Vitae published an information literacy component for the RDF.

Information literacy is an umbrella term which encompasses concepts such as digital, visual and media literacies, academic literacy, information handling, information skills, data curation and data management. Interacting with information is at the very heart of research and informed researchers are both consumers and producers of information.

The RDF component included an information literacy "lens"- mapping information literacy skills onto the RDF researcher model - and an Informed Researcher Booklet giving guidelines to researchers on evaluating and improving their information literacy.

Review of Existing Resources: (i) Previous JISC Projects

There are lots of materials relating to data management training available through Jorum these include audio interviews, PowerPoint presentations, factsheets, videos and more. Many of these are outputs of previous JISC-funded projects, and we considerprojects from the RDMTrain and Research Data Management Infrastructure programmes here.

Sound Data Management Training (SoDaMaT)

Sound Data Management Training (SoDaMaT) is an eight-month project to create and evaluate discipline-specific data management training material for digital music and audio research. The materials will be targeted to:

  • postgraduate research students (MSc and PhD);
  • research staff (postdoctoral researchers, CIs, PIs);
  • and academic staff.

The project is to run at the Centre for Digital Music (C4DM) at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) from June 2012 to January 2013, in collaboration with the QMUL Learning Institute.

Final tutorial

The SMDMRD project officially ended on the 31st of May. Last week, we managed to deploy C4DM's live repository, which can be found at http://c4dm.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/rdr/xmlui. Policies are also being reviewed and will be approved and published shortly. We decided to organise a brief tutorial for staff and students at C4DM to introduce the basics of data management and to walk them through a submission to our DSpace repository.

Connecting DataFlow-DataStage and DSpace

One of the goals we set for our project's two-months extension was to explore the use of DataFlow's DataStage in combination with DSpace (see this post). Now that a beta version of DataStage has been released, and the SWORD2 support has been implemented, we gave it a try and, with some tweaks, we managed to publish a dataset from DataStage on DSpace. This is a short account of the steps and tweaks involved.

DSpace customisation: Item View and Help

The results of our first user testing phase pointed out a number of problems with our DSpace installation. Among them, the way files in datasets are visualised and managed in the repository, and the very little documentation available have been addressed and are described in this blog post.

SWORD submission tools for DSpace

This is a follow-up post to our previous considerations about multi-file submissions to DSpace using the SWORD standard protocol. After getting in touch with the SWORD developers through the sword-app-tech mailing list, we managed to create a command-line tool that allows us to easily submit large numbers of files to DSpace. Furthermore, we added basic support for BagIt packages to the dspace-swordv2 server.

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