Coming fast on the heels of the Open Access movement for scholarly articles, the research data movement aims to liberate the data that provides the evidence for scholarly debate and argument.

Take one of the projects currently been done at the Faculty of Architecture. Led by Assistant Professor Stefan van der Spek, the Rhythm of the Campus project is creating a huge dataset of usage by staff and students on the wifi over the entire campus of TU Delft.

Such a rich dataset can tell researchers, students and indeed other interested parties across deal about how teachers, undergraduates, postgraduates and support services all make use of the university wifi.

A whole spectrum of questions can be asked on how individuals interact in different types of groups, and how attitudes and behaviour change in specific places and at specific times.

From the point of the Research Data Services team in the Library, there is great interest in what happens to the collected data. Such a catalogue of digital behaviour will be of interest not just to Stefan’s colleagues and students but many potential re-users around the world.

But before such research data like that can be re-used, many issues need to be addressed. How is it documented? How is it anonymised? How is it archived? How is it cited? These are all questions for Data Stewardship.

At TU Delft Library, the Research Data Services team has just kicked off the Data Stewardship project. It aims to create mature working practices and policies for research data management across each of the faculties at TU Delft, so that any project can make sure their data is managed well.

Four key values underpin such work

  1. The safe storage and protection of intellectual capital developed by scientists
  2. Best practice in ensuring scientific arguments are replicable in the long term
  3. Better exposure of work of scientists and improved citation rates
  4. Improved practices for meeting the demands of funders, publishers and others in respect to research data

To implement these values, work has begun on a draft policy framework (https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BxR5kUQ2pArDX1gtQXJNaFRQdTQ). This is being discussed over the summer at a faculty level, and their input will steer and refine the policies and practices throughout the university (e.g.,  on the need for training for PhDs in data management). We will continue to report on development on this blog as the project continues.