Looking for patterns in research data policy

Aren’t the Mandlebrot sets pretty – more about these later!

This is the first blog about the Journal Research Data Policy Registry.  We have been gathering feedback about the direction of the project for a couple of months and we are now ready to get started.  One of the first things we have done is recruit the Expert Advisory Group to the project.  This is made up of research institutions, research communities, publishers, journal editors, repositories and funders.  We want the pilot to look at research data publication and policies from an international perspective so we have representatives from the UK, US, Europe and Australia in the group.  We really the appreciate the contribution of these experts to make sure we are considering all the stakeholder views.

We have also started working on a rapid prototype which is very exciting.  The technical development team at Jisc has taken the design brief and is busy working up a minimum viable product.  We are going to use iterative agile methodologies throughout the project so the focus will be on delivering working software as early as possible.  In fact, we are hope to have something to show at the first Expert Advisory Group meeting in July.  Of course we will be a long way from a working service but sometimes it’s easier to give feedback on something concrete than something as complex and abstract as policy.

We are hoping the community will take an interest and get involved in this project.  As a member of our Expert Advisory Group, Nick Woolley (Northumbria University) put it, we are at the start of the journey towards a point where a single set of data about knowledge exists within ‘a super semantic knowledgebase’.  For our project, this starts with building a data model and so (finally) we come to the relevance of the Mandelbrot sets in the header.  If we are to standardise policy then we must find patterns in the way we handle this information.  In a complex and sometimes fragmented landscape order is not easy to predict or design.  When that is the case we have to go beyond the obvious to find different kinds of relationships that may be significant to the way we understand the context.  So whilst certainly being beautiful these patterns can be inspirational and instructive too.

3 thoughts on “Looking for patterns in research data policy

    1. dkernohan

      Hi Fernanda – this looks like a great project and I’ll be reading through your findings with interest. As you’ll see from the next post in this series, we’ve moved away from the the policy data-bank idea to looking at advice, templates and checklists. I’d still be very keen to talk further, do please contact us!


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