Research Data Service

Research data training and skills

A range of training programmes on research data and research data management (RDM) in the form of online courses, and classroom-based workshops and seminars to help you with managing your research data effectively and efficiently.

Online training

Research Data Management and Sharing - MOOC

This free five-week Coursera MOOC - created by the Universities of Edinburgh and North Carolina - is designed to reach learners across disciplines and continents.

Subjects covered in the 5-week course follow the stages of any research project. They are:

  • Understanding Research Data
  • Data Management Planning
  • Working with Data
  • Sharing Data
  • Archiving Data

The MOOC (The Massive Open Online Course) uses the Coursera on-demand format to provide short, video-based lessons and assessments across a five-week period, but learners can proceed at their own pace. Although no formal credit is assigned for the MOOC, Statements of Accomplishment will be available to any learner who completes a course for a small fee.

https://www.coursera.org/learn/data-management

Research Data MANTRA

MANTRA is a free, non-credit, self-paced course designed for postgraduate students and early career researchers which provides guidelines for good practice in research data management.

Find out how well you manage your data. Learn how to create a data management plan, securely store and share your data. MANTRA also includes practical exercises on using SPSS, NVivo, R, or ArcGIS for data handling.

Workshops and courses

Realising the Benefits of Good Research Data Management (RDS001)

Interactive Workshop - Attendees need to bring a smart phone, tablet, or laptop, preferably a laptop. No prior knowledge is required for this course.

This in-depth course will provide researchers at all stages of their career with an accessible and practical guide to Research Data Management (RDM) and how it can benefit their research. It covers the entire research data life cycle from Data Management Planning through to Improving the Visibility and Impact of research data in order to increase a researcher’s profile. With practical hints and tips throughout this course is ideal for those just setting out on a career in research as well as anyone looking to update or refresh their skills.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will be able to:

  1. recognize the importance of RDM and Data Management Planning
  2. understand the difference between sensitive and non-sensitive data and how that will impact on their research and RDM
  3. apply basic RDM skills to their daily research practices
  4. determine the extent to which their research data is Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR)
School / College Audience Date Time Venue Booking link
CMVM (Central Area) CMVM Staff / PGRs 25/09/19 13:00-16:00 G.06, 50 George Sq https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=36726              
CMVM (BioQuarter) CMVM Staff / PGRs 17/10/19 09:30-12:30 Shirley Hall,QMRI https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=36728
ALL Staff 27/09/19 10:00-13:00 Room B.09, Institute for Academic Development, 1 Morgan Lane https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=35407
ALL ALL 08/10/19 13:00-16:00 Room 1.05, 7-8 Chamber Street https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=35843
ALL PGRs 15/10/19 09:30-12:30 Room B.09, Institute for Academic Development, 1 Morgan Lane Book via IAD - https://www.ed.ac.uk/institute-academic-development/postgraduate/doctoral/courses
ALL ALL 06/11/19 13:00-16:00 Room G.12 Muchison House (King’s Buildings) https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=37054
ALL Staff 11/11/19 14:00-17:00 Room B.09, Institute for Academic Development, 1 Morgan Lane Book via IAD - https://www.ed.ac.uk/institute-academic-development/postgraduate/doctoral/courses
ALL PGRs 06/12/19 09:30-12:30 Room B.09, Institute for Academic Development, 1 Morgan Lane Book via IAD - https://www.ed.ac.uk/institute-academic-development/postgraduate/doctoral/courses

Writing a Data Management Plan for your Research (RDS002)

Interactive workshop - Attendees should bring a laptop or tablet to write their DMP on either using DMPonline, or the basic template the tutor will provide. It would also be helpful if you could bring your project outline to base the draft DMP on.

At the end of this practical workshop you will have produced a 1st draft Data Management Plan (DMP) for your research project. You will understand the basic components of good DMP.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will:

  1. Understand the necessity/benefits of producing a DMP;
  2. Know how to register for and use DMPonline;
  3. Have drafted a basic DMP that they can complete after the course.
School/ College Audience Date Time Venue Booking Link
ALL ALL 23/10/2019 10:00-12:00 Room 1.01, Dugald Stewart Building https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=37050
CMVM (BioQuarter) CMVM Staff / PGRs 28/10/2019 10:00-12:00 Mary Kinross Room, QMRI https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=36731
ALL PGRs 07/11/2019 10:00-12:00 Room B.09, Institute for Academic Development, 1 Morgan Lane

Book via IAD - https://www.ed.ac.uk/institute-academic-development/postgraduate/doctoral/courses

ALL All 14/11/2019 14:00-16:00 Room G.12 Murchison House (King’s Buildings) https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=37051 

Working with Personal and Sensitive Data (RDS003)

Presentation - Before attending you should complete the mandatory online Data Protection Training https://www.ed.ac.uk/records-management/training/data-protection

Researchers today are pressured to share their research data and make it accessible to other researchers. But what if you have collected sensitive or confidential data?

For many researchers, the sensitivity of research data is one of the main barriers to data sharing. Fear of violating ethical or legal obligations, lack of knowledge about disclosure control and the time required to anonymise data to a suitable standard often prevent valuable datasets from seeing the light of day.

In this two-hour awareness raising course, we introduce how to collect, share, store, and protect the sensitive data you may encounter as part of your work.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will:

  1. Understand the principles of good research data management;
  2. Have knowledge of GDPR and data protection regulations, and what these mean for research and research data;
  3. Be aware of relevant services and resources available to researchers at the university.
School/ College Audience Date Time Venue Booking Link
CMVM (Little France) ALL 21/10/2019 13:00-15:00 Seminar Room 4, Chancellor's Building, Little France https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=36730
CMVM (Central Area) ALL 23/10/2019 13:00-15:00 Hugh Robson Lecture Theatre https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=36729
ALL Staff 24/10/2019 09:30-11:30 Room B.09, Institute for Academic Development, 1 Morgan Lane https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=35994
ALL ALL 28/10/2019 14:00-16:00 Room 2.2, 22 Buccleuch Place https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=37508
ALL ALL 12/11/2019 14:30-16:30 Room G.69, Joseph Black Building (King’s Buildings) https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=37059

Data Cleaning with OpenRefine (RDS004)

Computer-based, hands on workshop - No prior experience required. Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system (not a tablet, Chromebook, etc.) that they have administrative privileges on.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their own data for a data workshop session at the end.

OpenRefine is a powerful tool for working with messy data: cleaning it; organizing it and transforming it from one format into another.  It is extremely useful for anyone who works regularly with any kind of tabular data.

At its simplest, OpenRefine helps you explore your data, identify and easily correct errors and globally reformat columns. For more advanced users it can be used to extend your data and link it with web services and external data. Most importantly, OpenRefine edits are reproducible and you can create a record of your data cleaning steps so you can automatically run them again on a new dataset.

This is an introductory course aimed at complete beginners covering the essential functionality of OpenRefine.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will:

  1. Gain skills to use essential OpenRefine functionality;
  2. Gain knowledge of advanced OpenRefine functions;
  3. Be pointed towards reference resources for further learning.
School/ College Audience Date Time Venue Booking Link
ALL ALL 10/10/2019 13:00-16:00 G.33 Muchison House (King’s Buildings) https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=37506
CMVM (Little France) ALL 12/11/2019 13:00-16:00 Microlab 1, Chancellor's Building, Little France https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=36735
ALL ALL 19/11/2019 10:00-13:00 CRC Digital Scholarship Centre, Main Library https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=37057

Handling Data Using SPSS (RDS005)

Computer Lab-based, hands on workshop - No prior experience or preparation required

The aim of this half-day course is to show you how the facilities provided by SPSS can help with the management of your research data, demonstrating the benefits of using SPSS syntax-driven commands to keep a record of data preparation, management and analysis steps. This includes getting data out of SPSS, whether for long-term preservation or for further analysis in other software.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will:

  1. Understand the importance of data management for research;
  2. Gain hands-on experience undertaking common data management steps in SPSS;
  3. Become confident in using syntax-driven commands to work with research data.
School/ College Audience Date Time Venue Booking Link
ALL ALL 29/10/2019 13:30-16:30 EW10 Argyle House https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=36054
CMVM (Little France) ALL 30/10/2019 13:00-16:00 Microlab 1, Chancellor's Building, Little France https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=36733
ALL ALL 03/12/2019 13:30-16:30 EW13 Argyle House TBC

Assessing Disclosure Risk in Quantitative Data (RDS006)

Interactive Workshop / Computer-based. Due to the hands-on nature of this session, attendees MUST bring a laptop with R and R-Studio installed prior to attending the session (instructions for installation will be sent prior to the session).

Researchers face a number of technical, ethical and legal challenges in creating, analysing and managing research data, including pressure to increase transparency and conduct their research more openly. But for those who have collected or are re-using sensitive or confidential data, such challenges can be particularly taxing. Tools and services can help to alleviate some of the problems of using sensitive data in research.

Statistical Disclosure Control (SDC) is a methodology used to evaluate and minimise the risk of a statistical unit (e.g. an individual, household, etc) being identified within a dataset. This workshop will provide an introduction to SDC, covering the following:

• Types of Identifiers

• De-identification and Anonymisation

• Types of Disclosure

• SDC Approaches

• k-anonymity and l-diversity

The workshop introduces sdcMicro, a practical R package for measuring disclosure risk in numeric data through examining combinations of key variables. The hands-on session will demonstrate applying SDC methods to anonymize numeric data, while evaluating the balance between disclosure risk and data loss.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will:

  1. understand the principles of statistical disclosure control (SDC)
  2. be aware how SDC may be applied in practice (i.e. anonymising their own data)
  3. gain hands-on experience using the sdcMicro package to evaluate disclosure risk in a test dataset.
School/College Audience Date Time Venue Booking Link
ALL ALL 19/11/2019 14:00-17:00 Lister Learning and Teaching Centre - G.09 https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=37719

Assessing Data Quality in Quantitative Data (RDS007)

Interactive Workshop / Computer-based. Due to the hands-on nature of this session, attendees MUST bring their own laptop to the session

Quality control of data is an integral part of all research and takes place at various stages, during data collection, data entry, and data checking. Discovering errors in quantitative data commonly involves a combination of manual checks (e.g. eye-balling the data) and more automated checks (e.g. running descriptive commands) but these can be time consuming and may not pick up all issues in the data.

This workshop introduces the key elements of data quality assessment, including file, data and metadata checks. The session introduces a purpose-built data quality assessment tool, QAMyData, which is used to detect some of the most common problems (e.g. missingness, labelling errors, outliers and direct identifiers) in quantitative data (SPSS, STATA, SAS & csv files).

Upon completion of this course, attendees will:

1. understand the principles of assessing data quality in quantitative data;

2. have hands-on experience using the QAMyData tool to check the quality of quantitative datasets;

3. be able to use QAMyData to check the quality of their own research data.

School/College Audience Date Time Venue Booking Link
ALL ALL 02/12/2019 14:00-16:00 Lister Learning and Teaching Centre - 4.3 https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=37734

Data Mindfulness: Making the Most of your Dissertation (RDS009)

Interactive Workshop - No prior knowledge is required for this course.

This course is specifically tailored for UG students starting to prepare their dissertation projects. It takes UG students through all the stages of their dissertation journey: from choosing their question to dealing with literature and data to writing up to preserving their data after submission. Unlike existing material for postgraduates and researchers, this course has been prepared – and will be delivered – by one of our PhD interns from the perspective of a student; and it places data management tips within the broader experience of conducting a UG dissertation.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will have learned:

  1. What a dissertation is; and what the steps in conducting their dissertation research process are likely to be. We will also cover how a dissertation is structured and why; and also how to choose appropriate data for answering your research question.
  2. Recognise and understand the importance of data management for their dissertation project; and how this will enable them to produce better pieces of research.
  3. How to use referencing managers to organise and cite their literature.
  4. Where to store their data and how to back up their work.
  5. What sensitive data is and what ethical considerations they should think of when dealing with it.
  6. How to keep track of different versions while writing up.
  7. Understand the use and importance of data repositories.
School/College Audience Date Time Venue Booking Link
All Undergraduate 30/10/2019 14:00-15:30 Lister Learning and Teaching Centre (Room 4.1) https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=37546
All Undergraduate 31/10/2019 13:00-14:30 Lister Learning and Teaching Centre (Room 3.3) https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=37550
All Undergraduate 06/11/2019 14:00-15:30 Lister Learning and Teaching Centre (Room 4.1) https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=37547
All Undergraduate 07/11/1019 13:00-14:30 Lister Learning and Teaching Centre (Room 3.3) https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=37551

Introduction to Visualising Data in ArcGIS (RDS011)

Practical Workshop - Familiarity with spatial data useful, PC with ArcGIS 10.x installed required

The course provides an introduction to some of the basic functionality in ArcGIS and covers some simple methods of visualising data appropriately. The course will show you how to create a map in ArcGIS. We will cover spatially referencing data and plotting it on a basemap; making raw spatial information look like a map; making a choropleth map; creating a print quality map.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will have knowledge of spatial data and basic GIS functionality for visualising data

School/ College Audience Date Time Venue Booking Link
ALL ALL 09/10/2019 09:30-12:30 Room 1.08, First Floor, Main Library, George Square https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=showEventDetails&scheduleId=37108

Introduction to Visualising Data in QGIS (RDS012)

Practical workshop - Familiarity with spatial data useful, PC/Mac with QGIS 3.4.x installed required

The course provides an introduction to some of the basic functionality in QGIS and covers some simple methods of visualising data appropriately. The course will show you how to create a map in QGIS. We will cover spatially referencing data and plotting it on a basemap; making raw spatial information look like a map; making a choropleth map; creating a print quality map.

Upon completion of this course, attendees will have knowledge of spatial data and basic GIS functionality for visualising data.

School/ College Audience Date Time Venue Booking Link
ALL ALL 14/11/2019 09:30-12:30 Room 1.08, First Floor, Main Library, George Square https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=showEventDetails&scheduleId=37109

Contact

If you would like to have a tailored training session on any aspect of RDM within your discipline, school, institute or research group, please contact Kerry Miller.