JISC DataPool Project

The DataPool project will build capacity within the University of Southampton to support effective data management practice across all disciplines, including multi-disciplinary activity, throughout the data lifecycle. A focus on cultural change will be underpinned by development of a clear policy framework, an enhanced technical infrastructure and a strategy for supporting researchers in managing their data in line with the middle phase of the 10 year roadmap identified by the previous JISC funded Institutional Data Management Blueprint (IDMB) project.


  • Implement an institutional research data policy with guidance for researchers;
  • Launch and populate an institutional data repository as part of the research data management infrastructure;
  • Embed effective research data management through close alignment with the University’s multi-disciplinary Strategic Research Groups;
  • Provide integrated training for PhD students through the institution-wide Graduate Centre and curriculum development;
  • Develop the skills of professional support staff such as librarians, IT specialists and bid managers so they can provide coherent institutional support for data management requirements.

Project methodology

The project will take a three-pronged approach:

  • Research Data Management Policy ratification and implementation
  • Research Data Management System implementation
  • Integrated Training, Guidance and Support

By seeking early ratification of institutional research data policy, DataPool will provide the community with evidence of an institutional approach to implementing policy. We have commitment from senior staff such as the Associate Deans Research and the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research, as well as researchers representing different disciplines, with data policy “champions” identified for each Faculty. High quality guidance will be provided on specified and requested topics to enable researchers to respond to, and comply with, the policy.

As part of an integrated data management infrastructure a model for using both an institutional instance of Microsoft Sharepoint and EPrints repository software will be developed for the deposit of metadata that describes the research data to be archived, and for the actual deposit of the datasets into a pilot university data repository.

DataPool will deliver a flexible model supporting service and training for researchers, students and support staff. A series of case studies based on real, disciplinary examples of data management practice will involve different data types produced by postgraduate and undergraduate students as well as researchers. A full data management training programme will be offered through the university Professional Development Unit as part of continuing professional development activities for all academic staff. Data management training workshops incorporated previously into a masters course will be extended to other masters modules. Cost monitoring will be used to model scalability of the training programme and provide an evidence-base for financial decision-making.

 Anticipated outputs and outcomes

  • Institutional policy will be shared on the institutional and DCC websites to maximise exposure, with a report on our implementation experience;
  • A model for integrating a data repository into the wider institutional data management infrastructure and culture;
  • Specialist repository support for discipline-specific data shared with the UK repository community (e.g. through the EPrints Bazaar app store);
  • Training materials and case studies to be shared with the community for reuse;
  • A model for embedding training in a graduate school programme for PhD students;
  • Training needs analysis and training programme for support staff to share with all HEIs;
  • Examples of training case studies to enhance continuing professional development for researchers and curriculum development for students;
  • Cost-modelling, including cost-benefit analysis of whole-institution data management training commitment.

Further details: http://blogs.ecs.soton.ac.uk/datapool/