ULTRA RDM training session, Feb 2015

Materials from the latest version of the Research Data Management session delivered as part of the University of Leeds Teaching and Research Award (ULTRA).

The structure and content of the Research Data Management (RDM) session delivered as part of the ULTRA course has been revised for academic year 2014/2015. More video content has been incorporated and the session is more interactive and discursive. Feedback was very positive – though some participants would like more time to let the discussion flow freely.

Audience: primarily early career researchers

Timing: 2 1/2 – 3 hour session with 3 presenters

Slides: presentation slides from the session – including links to videos and RDM sites

Workbook: a short workbook encouraging participants to take notes and reflect on their own data during and after the session. Contains two sample data management plans.

All materials are made available to the students in the Leeds University Virtual Learning Environment.

Session structure -summarised below:

    • Introduction (5 mins)
    • Setting the scene (10 mins) – presentation and discussion of researcher video
    • Your own research data (20 mins) – types of data, reflection on students’ data and some practical tips on mins
    • Research data lifecycle / why manage data (10 mins) – zip through a data lifecycle; reasons to manage data, including personal benefit and external drivers
    • Research data reuse by yourself and others (20 mins) – storage, backup, reuse. Presentation and discussion of the mins Health Science animation on barriers to data sharing.
    • Metadata for reuse (20 mins) – examples of metadata for discovery and reuse, including examples drawn from citizen science initiatives. Reflection on students’ own metadata.


  • Research data for the long term (25 mins) – fileformats, data repositories, data citation, scholarly communications, ORCIDs, your research profile. Discussion of students’ own data: what would / wouldn’t be shared.
  • Data management plans (15 mins) – read and discuss two example DMPs
  • Data management plans – practicalities (20 mins) – funder requirements, demonstration of RDM. Students start to write own RDM.
  • Summary and further information (10 mins) – help available from the RDM Team and further training courses.


Very useful=12; Mainly useful=4; Not really useful=1; Not at all useful=0

Students liked the video materials and opportunities for discussion with other participants and instructors. Several mentioned changes they would make in their own practice – particularly greater attention to forward planning, including writing a data management plan, review of storage and backup arrangements and discussion of metadata collection protocols in research teams.

Some participants suggested the course should be offered to all PhD students and wished they had attended a similar course at the beginning of their PhD research.

Areas for improvement 

The table for reflection on the student’s own data needs more explanation and possibly a redesign.

More information on cloud storage.

One student felt there was insufficient emphasis on ethical aspects of RDM and would have liked more discussion of when in it inappropriate to share data openly.