KRDS (Keeping Research Data Safe) Benefits Analysis Toolkit
The Keeping Research Data Safe (KRDS) Benefits Analysis Toolkit guides users through a process of identifying, assessing, and communicating the benefits from investing resources in the curation and long-term preservation of research data. It is comprised of two tools: the KRDS Benefits Framework, which helps users identify and articulate potential benefits from a project or activity; and the Value-chain and Benefits Impact tool, which helps identify quantitative metrics and qualitative indicators for the impact of benefits.
Charles Beagrie Ltd., as part of the Keeping Research Data Safe (KRDS) / Infrastructure for Integration in Structural Sciences (I2S2) projects
Licensing and cost
The toolkit was released in July 2011. The KRDS/I2S2 project was funded from February through July 2011. Applications of the toolkit have been published (see below under 'influence and takeup'). No further development appears to be supported.
Platform and interoperability
The Benefits Framework tool is offered as a Microsoft Word 97-2003 or Open Office Text document. The Value Chain and Benefits Impact tool is offered as a Microsoft Excel 97-2003 workbook or an Open Office spreadsheet.
The Benefits Framework offers a list of generic benefits that can serve as a starting point for an organisation’s brainstorming. It creates a structure within which to place the benefits, based on three dimensions: the outcome achieved (direct or indirect); when the outcome is achieved (near-term or long-term); and who benefits from the outcome (internal or external). The Value Chain and Benefit Impact worksheet then asks the user to identify potential measures or illustrations of the value and impact of those benefits. If the user so desires, they can add the research data lifecycle phases described in another project deliverable: the KRDS1 Activity Model. This is intended to place benefits and their impact into a context of related activities and to see and evaluate a value-chain.
Documentation and user support
The project offers extensive documentation, with detailed guides for the Benefits Framework and Value Chain Impact Tool. In-depth explanations of the Keeping Research Data Safe project and the Toolkit are also available. The site links to a number of examples of completed worksheets from a number of project partners, including the Archaeology Data Service and the UK Data Archive.
Both tools are extremely straightforward. The Value Chain and Benefits Impact tool, in particular, integrates help text and definitions for components and terms into the header cells.
Users must have in-depth knowledge of their organisation’s needs and priorities. The project recommends that users be familiar with other KRDS Outputs such as the KRDS Activity Model, and similar assessments of value and impact.
The KRDS User Guide states that KRDS is compatible with the UK University’s Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC).
Influence and take-up
The benefits framework was applied during 2012 in various UK institutions through projects funded under the JISC Managing Research Data programme.