Image: University Librarian Simon Bevan and Research Data Manager Georgina Parsons present Dr Francis with a bottle of bubbly.

As it is Cranfield University’s 70th anniversary year, we decided to jump on the #CranfieldAt70 bandwagon and run a friendly ‘CORD at 70’ competition (albeit unadvertised – we didn’t want to influence people’s use of the system). CORD is our new data repository, only launched in April this year, but a large number of researchers have already engaged with it. We felt that this was worth celebrating, so prepared a little prize for the 70th dataset to be added to the system – and it was uploaded last week!

The prize-winner was Dr Daniel Francis, a Research Fellow in the Department of Engineering Photonics. His research involves gas cells for mid IR-spectroscopy for biomedical applications, and the 70th dataset was his first upload to CORD, a research dataset that underpinned a new publication in Applied Optics. In its first three days on CORD, it had already had 11 downloads! I chatted to Daniel about his experience.

Why did you use CORD? Simply to meet RCUK directives, as my work has EPSRC funding. As a team, we’ve always preserved our research data on an internal shared drive, and had been meeting the requirement of making data available by providing the researchdata@cranfield.ac.uk email address in any publications. To fully meet the EPSRC expectations, though, we need to put the data online and provide the DOI, and CORD is an easy way to do this.

So you found CORD easy to use? Yes, I can’t recall any problems, and we were on a tight deadline with the publication so I managed to upload the data quickly with no issues – on a Friday afternoon, too! The metadata isn’t extensive but the data is quite clear and the publication provides further supporting information.

What would you say to someone who is worried they don’t have time to put their research data on CORD? It’s easier than it sounds! The key is knowing what you need to put on there. For RCUK compliance, you just need to upload the data that underpins the paper (i.e. the data behind your graphs) so it’s really quite straightforward to prepare.

Whilst there may not be any more prizes imminent, CORD will remain an easy-to-use system that helps simplify your compliance with RCUK funding council expectations. If you’ve not used it yet, have a go! All staff and doctoral students can log in at https://cranfield.figshare.com and arrange an overview or get the latest training dates by talking to Georgina Parsons, Research Data Manager, on x4548 or researchdata@cranfield.ac.uk.

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