End of I2S2 Project

Posted by Manjula Patel on February 5th, 2013

The I2S2 Project was successfully completed in August 2011, consequently this blog is no longer being maintained.  For project outputs please refer to the project website at: http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/projects/I2S2/.

Manjula Patel

Benefits Use Cases

Posted by Manjula Patel on April 5th, 2011

The I2S2 Benefits Use Cases are now available on the project website: I2S2 Benefit Use Cases (PDF)

Data Infrastructure Challenges, I2S2 Project Workshop, 5th May 2011, Leicester

Posted by Manjula Patel on March 31st, 2011

Data Infrastructure Challenges: working across scale, disciplinary and institutional boundaries, 5th May 2011, University of Leicester

The Infrastructure for Integration in Structural Sciences (I2S2) Project is pleased to announce a half-day workshop which will explore research data management challenges in a range of contexts. It will examine data integration and interoperability across different degrees of scale (from local laboratory to national data service to large scale facility such as Diamond and ISIS), data flows between disciplines and data exchange across and within institutional boundaries. There will be a particular focus on demonstrating the cost-benefits of effective data management and the relevance of different roles within organisations. There will be a programme of expert speakers who will share the experiences and outcomes from a range of pioneering
JISC-funded projects, followed by Panel discussion.

The full Programme and registration details can be found at:

This workshop is to be co-located with the 6th Research Data Management Forum.

Digital Preservation Benefit Analysis Tools

Posted by Manjula Patel on March 21st, 2011

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new project focussing on development of a digital preservation benefits analysis toolset.

The “Digital Preservation Benefit Analysis Tools” project is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and will run from 1st February to 31 July 2011.

The project  aims to test, review and promote combined use of the Keeping Research Data Safe (KRDS) Benefits Taxonomy and the Value Chain and Impact Analysis tool first applied in the I2S2 project  for assessing the benefits and impact of digital preservation of research data. We will extend their utility to and adoption within the JISC community by providing user review and guidance for the tools and creating an integrated toolset. The project consortium consists of a mix of user institutions, projects, and disciplinary data services committed to the testing and exploitation of these tools and the lead partners in their original creation. We will demonstrate and critique the tools, and then create and disseminate the toolset and accompanying materials such as User Guides and Factsheets to the wider community.

A project website is at http://beagrie.com/krds-i2s2.php and the project plan and project outputs will be available from the website in due course. A dissemination event to mark the conclusion of the project will be held in central London on 12 July 2011 (further details and registration will be announced in May).

The project partners are UKOLN and the Digital Curation Centre at the University of Bath, the Centre for Health Informatics and Multi-professional Education (CHIME) at University College London , the UK Data Archive (University of Essex), the Archaeology Data Service (University of York),  OCLC Research, and  Charles Beagrie Limited.

The Benefits of Research Data Management – JISC Conference 2011

Posted by Manjula Patel on March 21st, 2011

I2S2 was one of the projects from the JISC Managing Research Data Programme involved in a Parallel Session at the annual JISC Conference last week.

The session, The benefits of more effective research data management in UK Universities, aimed to highlight the positive effects of improvements in research data management solutions as promoted by three of the projects in the MRD Programme.  The “benefits case studies” developed by the MRD projects will be synthesised in a report by Neil Beagrie due for release in May.

Presentations from the parallel session are available online at:

They are best perused in the following order:

Simon Hodson, JISCMRD, Introduction
Neil Beagrie, Cost-Benefits and Business Cases Support Role
Manjula Patel and Neil Beagrie, I2S2 Project, UKOLN, University of Bath
June Finch, MaDAM Project, University of Manchester
Jonathan Tedds, HALOGEN Project, University of Leicester

JISC Workshop on Software Preservation

Posted by Manjula Patel on February 8th, 2011

Yesterday I attended a workshop on software preservation. I consider this an important area since a huge amount of research data is virtually impossible to access or understand without the help of some sort of software – indeed, many of the scientific processing pipelines nowadays are completely digital in nature.

The workshop began with presentations from Kevin Ashley (Digital Curation Centre), Neil Chue Hong (Software Sustainability Institute) and Brian Matthews (Science & Technology Facilities Council). Presentations and a workshop report will be made available via the project blog.

Unfortunately, I missed much of Kevin’s presentation due to my train being held up at Swindon, but I did note that he mentioned the OAIS Model and Representation Information Networks.

Neil’s presentation centred around “key decision points” including the difficulty in defining what exactly it is that we need to preserve given all the complex dependencies involved in even the smallest software application and how exact we need the preservation to be (functionality; interface; experience etc.) Identifying the significant properties becomes critical here.

Brian began his presentation with the challenge “how do I know that I have preserved the software?”, identifying several steps in the process from preservation to retrieval to reconstruction to replay as a means of checking that the preserved system behaves in the same manner as the original.

Following the presentations we undertook a group exercise looking at: who has responsibility to preserve software? who needs to be involved? and what practical steps can be taken? This brought up a host of complex issues including: identifiers, standards, licences, IPR, user testing, cost-benefit analysis, funding issues etc.

After lunch we went through another group exercise trying to identify preservation requirements and approachs for a specific piece of software.
The complexities involved in trying to preserve software were particularly highlighted through this exercise.

One specific take-home message for me was that the best way to curate and preserve software is to make sure that it has a good user community ensuring that it is maintained and kept “fit for purpose”.

Scaling Up workshop @ IDCC 2010

Posted by Manjula Patel on October 4th, 2010

We are running a workshop at IDCC 2010, Chicago, 6th December 2010,
Scaling Up to Integrated Research Data Management.

Everyone welcome!

Data as “first class” citizens

Posted by Manjula Patel on August 10th, 2010

Last Wed (4th Aug 2010) UKOLN once again welcomed Andrew Treloar, Director of Technology for the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). Andrew was giving a presentation on the current and future work being undertaken in ANDS.

ANDS is very much concerned with making data “first class”  objects analogous to papers, especially in the sense that they should be able to be discovered in their own right.  During questions, we ended up briefly looking at and discussing the I2S2 research activity lifecycle model.

Now, unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to talk through and explain the lifecycle model and looking at it “cold” the impression is that “data” are treated as 2nd class citizens and whether they can be found or not seems to be dependent on their being cited in papers.  So, maybe the model needs clarification, since there is no reason why data cannot be surfaced independently of papers through the central (green) stack in the lifecycle model; this would very much depend on appropriate metadata being made public, harvestable and web crawlable.

Requirements Report (Deliverable D1.1)

Posted by Manjula Patel on July 8th, 2010

The Requirements Report for I2S2, together with the final Lifecycle Model and a supplementary report are now available from the project website.

The report summarises the results of several requirements-gathering activities including immersive studies and a gap analysis. Since the project is investigating both differing scales of science (work-bench to large-scale facilities) as well as disciplinary issues there is a huge range and diversity of requirements that have been identified. The report concludes with pointers to next steps involving an integrated approach to research data management issues.

I2S2 F2F Meeting, 14th June 2010

Posted by Manjula Patel on June 21st, 2010

The project held a meeting of all partners on Monday 14th June 2010 (at UKOLN, University of Bath) to discuss progress and plan further activities, in particular with regard to cost-benefit analyses; an integrated information model and the implementation of 2 pilot infrastructures based on use cases.