Incremental at University of Cambridge

What will the project do?

Scoping Study

The ‘Incremental’ project will carry out a scoping study, working with departments, individual researchers, and key technical support staff to gain a clearer picture of (1) what types of electronic data researchers are creating, (2) how they are using, storing, and maintaining their data, and (3) their needs for future research data  preservation, management, and re-use.

Pilot Programme

We will then develop a pilot data management plan to address the requirements identified by the scoping study and invite users to test the new services. The results will not only help to improve data management strategies within departments but also provide enhancements to the University Library services (such as DSpace@Cambridge). The findings will also help to inform research data management practices throughout the United Kingdom.

Core Philosophy

We believe in a bottom-up approach, providing tailored services where the needs of academic disciplines and departments vary. At the same time, we expect that there will be similarities in the needs of many departments and projects.

How can departments and researchers get involved?

In order to help improve data management resources, practices, and policies at Cambridge University, the University Library is seeking departments and groups of researchers who would be interested in participating in short individual and group interviews to establish:

  1. What types of electronic research data are used or maintained.
  2. Current policies and practices for research data management.
  3. What data strategies have succeeded or failed in the past.
  4. Current and future needs for services such as policy guidance and options for long-term storage and access.

More detailed information about interview topics is available in these interview summaries (pdf). We are seeking information about costs and benefits of data management through this costs questionnaire (pdf).

Why participate?

  1. Benefit from an analysis of your current data management practices.
  2. Learn about current data management, storage, and dissemination resources (such as DSpace@Cambridge).
  3. Save time and money for your projects and department.
  4. Learn about funding council requirements for data management, and the simplest ways to meet them.
  5. Influence the future data management services and strategies to be provided by the University of Cambridge and the University Library.

Collaboration, funding, and sharing results.

In keeping with our bottom-up approach, we will share interview summaries with the participants before finalising either the summaries or our conclusions. All Incremental project reports will either aggregate or anonymise results.

The Incremental project receives funding and support from JISC. A parallel project is underway at the University of Glasgow’s Humanities Advanced Technology & Information Institute (HATII), with which the University of Cambridge Library will compare results.

The Cambridge University Preservation Development programme (CUPID) is providing oversight and support for the Incremental project and will help ensure its continuity into the next steps once the project is completed. JISC and the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) will help share resulting best practices and resources with higher education institutions throughout the UK.