The ‘rise’ of the Data Management ‘manager’

Have any of you had the dubious ‘pleasure’ of filling out the Data Management section of a Research Council UK grant? I have been avoiding this for weeks, and now that I’ve actually sat down to write the damn thing all I can say is…..WANK

I’m glad to see with the reduction in funding to RCUK and universities that they can find the millions necessary to employ a truck load of people to do, basically, bugger all. Website have proliferated on the topic but they are all basically cut and paste jobs from RCUK. And, they are of zero help, because they are filled with middle management jargon.

If you want me to store my data on an Excel file, with a file name other than ‘Book1’ on a password protected computer in a locked room, why don’t you just say it, instead of talking about things like ‘quality control’. If you want two people to score the data and check the inputted data, why don’t you just say that, instead of calling them ‘data entry validation techniques’.

Why turn a process that was intuitive and simple into….well…steaming pile of turd comes to mind.

We academics are simple creatures. We do not speak middle management. We like the equivalent of a Delia Smith recipe for Victoria Sponge…..add ingredients…stir….bake at 200 degree….viola.

If you’re going to out together ‘help’ documents for grants why don’t you ask people who actually fill them in what they need to be conveying to reviewers and funders, and get them to phrase the questions.

I remember seeing a cartoon for quality control managers about 25 years ago which had something to do with pigs on muck….seems very apt.


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