The LEARN project. Report on the end of project conference and launch of the LEARN Toolkit.

On the 5th of May, Senate House Library hosted the LEARN end of project  conference, Managing the Data Deluge: Roles and Responsibilities for your institution.

The LEARN project (LEaders Activating Research Networks), set out to further develop the LERU roadmap on research data managLEARN Project34488603956 36a4b3774d zement in order to build a developed e-infrastructure across Europe.

One of the key outputs of the project was the development of a toolkit. The toolkit is a series of case studies which allow institutes to model their progress in implementing research data management in their institution and track their progress.

Professor Kurt Deketelaere the Secretary General of LERU delivered the opening keynote. Kurt emphasised that universities had to engage with Research Data Management (RDM) and reiterated LERUs support for Open Data. He also noted that while Europe is playing a key role in delivering Research Data Management solutions not all European developments support Open Data, particularly the EU General Data Protection Regulation which is due to be implemented in 2018.

Dr Eva Méndresearch data in an open science world prof dr eva mendez uc3m 8 1024ez Rodriguez delivered the 2nd keynote, Research Data in an Open Science World: Reflections from a young EU University. In her presentation Eva emphasised that we should not delay in implementing Research Data Management and Open Data in search of the perfect solution. Stating that the best policy for each institution is the one they already have. Eva also debuted her open science mushroom.


In the last presentation of the opening session, Dr Per Öster from CSC – IT Center for Science, Finland looked at the supports available for data management. He cautioned against relying on free resources. Highlighting that these resources do not support long term management of data. Additionally he advocated for universities and research institutes to take control of Research Data Management arguing that we can not rely on commercial infrastructures to best support our needs.

Dr Claudio Gutierrez of the University of Chile delivered the final keynote. He illustrated the immense size of research data now being generated. Claudio also noted that research data has become the new gold of the research community.

The conference featured a number of breakout sessions. One of which was chaired by Paul Ayris of University College London Library. This session looked at how to implement the Toolkit.  He highlighted the following case studies as starting points for institutions.

  • Case study 11: why open data?
  • Case study 23: surveying your level of preparation for research data management
  • Case study 22: developing a data management plan- Argentina

He also highlighted the importance of getting buy in from senior management and advised taking an executive briefing to them.  Also essential to any successful data management strategy is advocacy and the training of early career researchers.

The day also featured a number of panel discussions, which discussed the challenges facing institutions in managing research data.
This conference was the final output of the LEARN project. CODATA and EUDAT have commended the Toolkit of Best Practice Case Studies. More resources are available from the LEARN website.

LEARN34529810695_05be5418a2_zBlogpost by Ashling Hayes (@hayes_ash)

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