JISC




DataSafe Deliverables

August 16th, 2012

The DataSafe Project officially came to an end on 31st July 2012. We would like to thank JISC for funding the project and the steering group at the University of Bristol for their invaluable contributions. We would also like to thank University of Bristol staff who provided feedback through piloting and user testing of the materials.

The following deliverables from the project are available:

Interactive Tutorial

The DataSafe tutorial has been created to increase the data management and preservation knowledge of university support staff, who are often producers of data which is critical to supporting the general running of the institution (for example finance reports and records, student programme support materials and administrative reports) and whose need for data management skills has been comparatively neglected.

The tutorial is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License for re-use/adaption by other institutions. The tutorial has been produced using Wimba Create, an add-in to Microsoft Word. The version used was Campus 2.5.5. Wimba Create is available with a site licence at many academic institutions, but you may need to install Wimba Create on your own PC. If you do not have access to Wimba Create, it is possible to edit directly the text files which contain the HTML for the slides.

The tutorial was developed at the University of Bristol and therefore contains some information specific to that institution. Some adaptation of the text to refer to your own local services and procedures, and to give it a local ‘look and feel’ will be required. A Customisation Guide is available as part of the zipped download file.

Download

Android App

The mobile app is aimed at university support staff, providing advice and guidance on the best ways to manage their data, including information about:

  • The best file formats for saving your data
  • Data retention periods
  • Data security classification
  • University of Bristol Data Protection Officers

The DataSafe app source files can be downloaded for reuse, but are not supported in any way.

Download

  • Installable application – .apk format. Requires permission to install from unknown sources; app currently not available through the Play Store.
  • Source files – .zip format

DataSafe Android app

August 7th, 2012

The DataSafe app is now available for download and installation on Android phones.

The app is aimed at university support staff, providing advice and guidance on the best ways to manage their data, including information about:

  • The best file formats for saving your data
  • Data retention periods
  • Data security classification
  • University of Bristol Data Protection Officers

The first two items provide standardised information which could be applied to any higher education institution. The section on file formats is based on work by Malcolm Raggett in File Formats for Long-term Storage (PDF). The information on data and records retention is based on JISC Infonet’s HE Records Retention Schedule.

The information on data security classification, and data protection officers is specific to the University of Bristol, but the model used could easily be adopted and updated by other institutions.

The app itself is built using PhoneGap (Apache Cordova), an open source framework for quickly building cross-platform mobile apps using HTML5, Javascript and CSS. It also makes extensive use of JQuery Mobile to handle the page transitions, and display, as well as using Web SQL for the backend database.

The code written for the DataSafe app is released under the under the terms of the GNU General Public License. All other software included in the distribution is subject to seperate license agreements.

The DataSafe app source files can be downloaded for reuse, but are not supported in any way.

Downloads

  • Installable application – .apk format. Requires permission to install from unknown sources; app currently not available through the Play Store.
  • Source files – .zip format

Two user testing sessions on online tutorial

July 23rd, 2012

In the last couple of weeks we have run a couple of user testing sessions on the online DataSafe tutorial, which involved support staff from our University libraries and IT Services.  Members of staff in the Educational Support Unit, Human Resources and the Secretary’s Office have also worked through the tutorial.  We received helpful feedback from all these sources, which will be taken account of in the final version.

Evaluating draft training materials

May 3rd, 2012

The DataSafe team will be running a pilot workshop with University of Bristol IT Services support staff in May to evaluate the content of the training materials. Whilst the IT Services staff are not the primary audience for these materials they do liaise with support staff on a daily basis and have an on the ground knowledge of the issues and levels of expertise that exist within their departments. The content will be iteratively developed based on feedback from this group and trialled again directly with a mix of support staff from across the University. We will post the results of the pilot later this month.

Developing the Android app for Datasafe

April 26th, 2012

Due to the relatively short timescales assigned to the development of the Android app to provide an interactive version of the Decision Tree element of this project, I’ve been assessing PhoneGap which “is an HTML5 app platform that allows you to author native applications with web technologies and get access to APIs and app stores. PhoneGap leverages web technologies developers already know best… HTML and JavaScript.” PhoneGap has previously been used on several R&D/ILRT projects (Nature Locator: Leaf Watch – a successful JISC-funded project – being one).

PhoneGap is OpenSource, and free, and manages much of the complicated aspects of mobile development, meaning that we can concentrate on building the app in technologies already familiar to us without having to spend time learning the underlying deployment technologies. Early tests in developing a simple relational database-driven app have been promising, and as the Decision Tree elements of the project are more closely defined in the coming weeks, I will be starting to implement these within the app.

A further benefit of PhoneGap is that it supports deployment to multiple platforms (iOS, Blackberry, etc) so although this project is only tasked with delivering an Android application, should time allow and the Android tests be successful, we may consider deploying to other platforms.

Conclusions of literature review concerning management of non-research data

February 20th, 2012

I have recently reviewed the literature on the management of non-research data, particularly in a university context, as part of DataSafe.  The conclusions are as follows:

Few universities have made available information specifically about the management and preservation of non-research data; Portsmouth University is an exception among British universities in this respect.  However, relevant recent material can be found in tools and guides which are concerned with research data, as many issues are common to both research and non-research data.  Cambridge and Glasgow Universities maintain extensive and up-to-date websites in this area.  In addition, there are guides to looking after non-research data which do not derive specifically from universities (for example those produced by the National Archives), although some of the material in them is not relevant in a university context, and they are mostly a few years old.

Training materials on these sites tend to be in the form of self-study materials such as factsheets.  Some workshop materials are available, but these are aimed at researchers and usually subject-specific.

 

Virginia Knight

ILRT/R&D Bristol University

JISC 12/11 Digital Preservation Programme meeting

January 25th, 2012

Members of the team recently attended the first meeting for the JISC  12/11 Digital Preservation Programme, hosted at the LSE and run by the SPRUCE Project.  SPRUCE (Sustainable PReservation Using Community Engagement) is a JISC funded partnership between; University of Leeds , British Library, Digital Preservation Coalition London School of Economics, and Open Planets Foundation.  The project has been set up to provide support and guidance for digital preservation projects by fostering a self-supporting community of digital preservation practitioners via a mixture of online interaction and face-to-face events.  The first SPRUCE event will be held in Glasgow in 23-25 April 2012. Details will be made available shortly on the SPRUCE website

The programme meeting also brought together the other nine projects funded under the 12/11 Digital Preservation Strand. Each project was asked to produce a 5 minute lightning talk to briefly outline the aims and objectives of the projects.  The DataSafe slides are available below:

Datasafe

View more presentations from dhiom

It was useful to discover some common issues/interests with the other projects focusing on training and dissemination of digital preservation (DICE, PrePARe and SHARD) and we will be keeping in touch with the teams during the duration of the project to share findings and ideas.

Introduction

December 12th, 2011

Welcome to the DataSafe Project Site.  DataSafe is a nine-month project funded by the JISC Digital Preservation Programme.  The central aim of the DataSafe project is to create a training programme at the University of Bristol to increase the data management and preservation knowledge of  support staff who are often producers of critical data to support the general running of the institution, for example finance reports and records, student programme support materials and administrative reports not held in centralised systems.

The training programme will consist of two training modules – an introduction and intermediate course which will cover topics such as file naming conventions, multiple copy model, proprietary vs. open technologies, an awareness of the role of metadata and data migration.  The courses will be produced and piloted with University of Bristol support staff but all training materials and other outputs will be made freely available for use by the wider community at the end of the pilot period.

In addition to the training materials, an interactive decision tree will be made available as a mobile app to clearly illustrate what to do with any given file or data type in order to keep it safe and usable, for example how and where to store personal details.  The decision tree will also point users to specific departments within the University who have responsibility for data types and when they need to be consulted.  The app will be made freely available for other universities to adapt for their own use.