About Incremental

Project Background

The universities of Cambridge and Glasgow have begun work to address the challenges of short and long term electronic data management. For example, Cambridge University Library has expanded the services and support offered through its institutional repository, DSpace@Cambridge.

In 2009, HATII undertook a digital preservation scoping study. This study  examined both the types of digital records and data being created and staff practices for managing those data, to identify areas where support was needed. As a result of this work, the University of Glasgow has implemented a digital curation training programme for its researchers based on the Digital Curation Centre’s (DCC) Digital Curation (DC 101) course.

The Incremental project will build upon this and other existing work, by taking a closer look at the diverse working practices currently in place for creating and maintaining research data across a variety of departments and research groups at the universities of Cambridge and Glasgow.


The project team will work with a range of researchers from different disciplines based at both the University of Cambridge and the University of Glasgow to identify current practices in managing digital research data. The Cambridge team will carry out a number of semi-structured interviews with PIs, Post Docs and PhD students to identify the kinds of digital research data they are creating, how these data are currently managed and what will happen to the data in the future.

This work builds upon Glasgow's 2009 digital preservation scoping study. The Incremental project will thus target similar research groups at Cambridge so that findings can be compared.

From there, we will identify services or resources that might help researchers manage data, and will pilot some of these within departments. For example, these services might include file structure and backup training for new researchers, intellectual property rights (IPR) guidance, or flexible templates for data management plans.

The project will also conduct a cost benefit analysis to gain an understanding of the costs and resources involved in managing digital research data and the costs risked under current practice.


The Incremental methodology and findings will be shared, and embedded wherever possible, via the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) activity to support other UK HEIs embarking on similar exercises. Findings will also be presented through release of a final report on the project, as well as workshops and conferences at the University of Cambridge and the University of Glasgow.

Funding and Support

The project is funded by JISC under the Managing Research Data Programme and is a collaboration between Cambridge University Library and the Humanities Advanced Technology & Information Institute (HATII) at the University of Glasgow. JISC and the Digital Data Curation Centre (DCC) are providing support and guidance throughout the project.