Assessing the impact of the JISCMRD programme

In this third post focusing on our recent RDM survey of UK HEIs, we consider the impact of the JISCMRD programme on the work UK HEIs are undertaking.

Jisc recently funded projects to undertake a range of initiatives investigating the management of research data. Specific programme strands were:

  1. Research Data Management Infrastructure (RDMI)
  2. Research Data Management Planning (RDMP)
  3. Support and Tools
  4. Citing, Linking, Integrating and Publishing Research Data (CLIP)
  5. Research Data Management Training Materials

Although the programme concluded in 2013 the influence these project on the broader UK HEI sector has yet to be established. While these projects were underway evidence of their research and development activities was recorded in a blog by Laura Molloy (JISC MRD: Evidence Gathering. Encouraging discussion across the JISC Managing Research Data programme, Laura Molloy, Laura is the Curation and Preservation Officer at the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII), University of Glasgow and Preservation Researcher with the Digital Curation Centre. Posts indicate the effectiveness of the programme in providing shared experience, expertise and materials for reuse. The last blog post (May 2013) describes the role of research funders in ensuring effective RDM (not least to allow for the implementation of their own policies), and in particular the need for them to consider the place and nature of peer review with regards to assessing the RDM component of proposals.

So, what has been happening since these projects ended and why is it important to consider the influence the work of these projects may be having on current RDM related activities in UK universities?

It is apparent from analysis of survey data from UK HEIs that JISCMRD funding does seem to put institutions in a better position to develop policy and services to support their research data management initiatives. For further information on this please see our previous discussion (Institutional readiness for managing research data). However, when considering the ‘ripple effect’ of these projects data is more difficult to locate. Personal communications across the sector for information about the work of a project or requests to use materials are not centrally recorded.

We believe that impact assessment is inherently valuable for evaluating the success of a programme and its impact over time. Information gathered can be used to inform and shape future work and to lobby for funding for such activities.

We therefore welcome responses from those involved in the JISCMRD programme and institutions grappling with RDM issues describing the benefits they derived from involvement in JISCMRD projects or having access to information from these projects. Comments can be added to this blog or by contacting Stéphane Goldstein <>. We also hope that, in due course, Jisc itself will show an interest in following up on our findings.

Previous posts in this seriess: