The Open Exeter project (originally known as Open Up) was funded by the JISC under the Managing Research Data Programme 2011-13.

Open Exeter built on the work of Exeter’s pilot Data Archive. Taking the remit and ambition of the original pilot several steps further, the project additionally focused on the development of a supporting framework of training and guidance so as to establish an institutional culture of effective research data management (RDM) from the creation of data to its final archiving.

In order to understand what problems and concerns were common amongst the researcher community the project team carried out two related investigations: 1) an adaptation of the Data Asset Framework allowed us to obtain a broad overview of data being created, stored and managed and associated issues, 2) a more in-depth, long-term investigation, ‘Follow the Data’, which involved working with a team of PhD researchers in different subject areas, helped to gain an understanding of the issues faced by postgraduate students at various stages of their research.

Findings from these two exercises guided approaches to the development of advocacy activities and materials, training, guidance and creation of specific services, such as the DMP query service.

Policy development examined RDM alongside wider Open Access (OA) issues and resulted in a combined policy for ease of understanding and accessibility. A Policy Task and Finish Group comprising a variety of stakeholders from Colleges, IT, RKT and Library, oversaw the development and ratification of the researcher policy, which was finally approved by Senate Council with a mandate for Green deposit of research papers in March 2013.

The project’s work with PhD students and research groups revealed concerns around potential loss and lack of visibility of postgraduate data, thus it was agreed to develop a separate policy applying to PGRs. This policy requires PGRs, in conjunction with supervisors, to ensure their data is correctly managed and prepared for final upload to Exeter’s repository alongside theses, where possible. The policy stipulates that students should meet with supervisors annually for a data ‘health check’ and suggests final approval for data upload should be granted by the supervisor.

Technical development focussed on two main areas: 1) improving and refining the pilot system has resulted in a unique and innovative data upload tool using Globus for file transfer, 2) Exeter’s research publications repository has been merged with the data repository and rebranded as ORE (Open Research Exeter) to make deposit of related publication/primary data easier.

This is where to find publications, reports, training materials, guides and other documentation produced by the Open Exeter project.

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