About RDMRose

The JISC funded RDMRose project (Jul 2012-Jun 2013) was a collaboration between the libraries of the University of Leeds, Sheffield and York, with the Information School at Sheffield to provide an Open Educational Resource for information professionals on Research Data Management.


The materials are available for reuse by other educators and have also been designed for self-supported CPD.

Design of the module

The literature suggests a wide range of possible roles in RDM for libraries. Aspects of all these roles are explored in the module (and an index is provided organised around these roles). However, the set of roles actually adopted is likely to vary between institutions and for individual professionals. Therefore the module is designed around discussing the role of libraries in RDM within institutions and also individual reflection on the place of RDM within their own job description. The module is designed to stimulate open-ended reflection on the role of the profession in a complex and fluid strategic context.

One of the central assumptions made in the design of the module is that librarians themselves often do not have in-depth experience of research. RDM and an increasing number of other roles to support research require more understanding of the perspective of the researcher. Therefore considerable time in the module is devoted to actively exploring the nature of research and research data. The module also encourages you to think about the potential role of other professional services, such as research administration and computing.

The module is split into 8 sessions, each equivalent to a half day of study.

Each session usually has 4 parts, each planned to constitute about an hour’s learning. Notes provide an overview of the session. Slides provide the basic content and structure and include pointers to resources and reading.

There is a strong emphasis on practical hands-on activities often engaging with real documents such as institutional RDM policies or data management plans.

An element of inquiry based learning is offered through a scaffolded exercise to plan an interview of a researcher.

An element of problem based learning is offered through a number of case studies based on documents and recordings relating to specific real projects (Session 7); and a fictional institutional case study (Session 8).


If you have used any of the RDMRose learning materials, be it for your own use as self-supported CPD or as an educator, we would greatly welcome your feedback. Please fill out this evaluation form. It will help us further enhance the learning materials!

Overview of all sessions

Session 1 – Introductions, RDM, and the role of LIS

The first session introduces the RDMRose module, discusses RDM basics, and explores the role of LIS professionals in RDM, including examples of how academic libraries have started to respond to the research data management challenge. The session is concluded by an introduction to reflection and reflective writing.

  1. Introduction to the RDMRose module
  2. RDM basics
  3. The LIS role in RDM
  4. Reflection and reflective writing

Session 2 – The nature of research and the need for RDM

The second session focuses on the nature of research, and the place of data in the research cycle. It then discusses the need for RDM, including funders’ mandates and university policies. Research data audits and interviews are discussed, and the RDMRose module’s overarching activity is introduced: preparing an interview with a researcher. The session is concluded by a reflection on the participant’s experience with research.

  1. The social organisation of research
  2. Research, information practices and data
  3. The RDM agenda, including Funders’ mandates and university policies
  4. The research data interview and audit, including investigating a researcher 1
  5. Reflection on research

Session 3 – The digital curation lifecycle

In the third session the DCC’s curation lifecycle model is introduced, followed by an exploration of Data Management Plans and a discussion of the point of view of different stakeholders in RDM, in particular of the professional services.

  1. Exploring the lifecycle
  2. Data Management Plans
  3. Stakeholders in RDM
  4. Reflection

Session 4 – Key institutions and projects in RDM

The fourth session is devoted to the different ways of keeping up-to-date on research data management. This includes an introduction to the DCC, the DCC website, and an activity to design Library web pages with RDM support for researchers, based on an exploration of similar websites at other institutions.

  1. Mapping the DCC website
  2. RDM training for researchers
  3. Designing Library web pages with RDM support for researchers
  4. Investigating a researcher 2
  5. Reflection on the learning process

Session 5 – What is data?

The topic of the fifth session is data: the findings of the preparatory desk investigation of a researcher are discussed with emphasis on data and data management issues. Also, a framework is presented that outlines different ways of looking at data, and a number of research data case studies are discussed. The drivers and cultural barriers to open data and data sharing are examined, and the session is concluded by a reflection on the participants’ understanding of research and research data.

  1. Researchers and their data: investigating a researcher 3
  2. Looking at data
  3. Open data
  4. Reflecting on research and research data

Session 6 – Managing data

The sixth session is devoted to the management of research data. This includes practical data management guidelines for researchers (such as file naming conventions and backing up files), issues around depositing, maintaining and finding data in institutional research data repositories, using subject repositories / data centres, and general metadata issues and data citation. Finally, participants reflect on how engaging with RDM may affect the organisation of the Library.

  1. Practical data management
  2. Institutional data repository policies
  3. Subject repositories
  4. Metadata and data citation
  5. Reflection on Library organisation

Session 7 – Case studies of Research Projects

The seventh session introduces a number of case studies that taken together follow the processes of research and handling research data: from project proposal and initial data management planning, via the reuse of existing datasets, to publishing research outputs and depositing relevant data. Finally, participants reflect on the impact of RDM on their professional role.

  1. Case studies of researchers and research projects
  2. Design a job description
  3. Reflection on RDM and your role as an LIS professional

Session 8 – Institutional Case Study and Conclusions

The eighth session explores the viewpoints of the different RDM stakeholders within HE institutions, such as researchers and institutional policy makers, the library, research office, computing services, and staff development unit, by analysing an institutional case study. In the second part, participants reflect on the relevance of the potential roles in RDM for the Library. Finally, participants reflect on what they have learned and evaluate the learning materials.

  1. RDM the movie
  2. Institutional case study
  3. Reflection on the Library role in RDM
  4. Evaluation of the RDMRose module