Initial Workshop (Once more unto the breach…)

On St George’s Day members of the UKRDDS team from Jisc, the DCC and the UK Data Archive gathered together with pilot institutions and data centres for the project’s initial workshop.

It was the first opportunity, since the initial pilot, for all stakeholders to come together and to discuss the plan for the project, the work involved, the governance structures, what’s expected from the pilots and the supporting structures required to ensure the project’s success. The workshop was also the start of the process of gathering user requirements and the development of a set of use cases for the Discovery Service.

The day was split into two parts. The morning was taken up by presentations from the project team. The afternoon was the key part of the workshop with groups working together to gather requirements for a Discovery Service and define an initial set of use cases.


The following briefly summarises each presentation and includes links to the relevant slides.

Welcome and Introduction – Catherine Grout introduced the workshop and gave some background into how the Discovery Service fits in with Jisc’s Research at Risk co-design challenge.

UK RDDS Project Overview and Plan walkthrough – Christopher Brown gave an overview of the Jisc-led project, including who is involved, and went through the plan and each work package. This also included advisory group structures and how the project will be run.

HEI Engagement – Laura Molloy summarised the HEI engagement work from the initial pilot and the requirements for this project.

Data Centre Engagement– Veerle van den Eynden summarised the Data Centre engagement work from the initial pilot and the requirements for this project.

Metadata Development – Alex Ball can an overview of how far the metadata work had progressed in the pilot and what was now required for metadata standard work.

Software Evaluation – David Wilson talked about the technical aspects of the project for further evaluating ANDS, evaluating CKAN and developing a set of evaluation criteria that could be used against any other potential solution, if not within this project but by anyone in the future.

Prior to lunch, there was a short group discussion with the opportunity to ask questions to the team on the plan, work packages, communication, governance or anything related to the project. It was good to hear such positive comments and the clear need for such a Discovery Service.

Requirements Gathering and Use Cases

Delegates were split into three groups of around 7/8 people. Each group was given the list of HEI and Data Centre requirements that came out of the original pilot’s workshop (Excerpt -UKResearchDataRegistryPilot_reportWP5_v1-2” and “Excerpt-UKResearchDataRegistryPilot_reportWP4_03”) and asked to say if these were still relevant and what, if anything, was missing. They were also given printed copies of a Use Case Template. Rather than come up with detailed use cases, they were asked to think about user stories using the following structure to describe each one:

“As a <role>, I want <goal/desire> so that <benefit>“

The “role” included stakeholders such as Research Manager, Researcher, Funder, Developer, etc.

It was a very productive afternoon and an initial set of user stories and requirements were gathered. Technical and metadata requirements came up as did the importance of a search feature, and the functionality around this, metadata quality, and an easy to use interface. The team is in the process of grouping the user stories together, prioritising them and ensuring that they are linked to the requirements. Further details will be published on this blog as they are developed.

I would like to thank everyone who was able to attend and contribute to the success of the workshop.

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