Research Data Management Adventure


Alexander Ball, Samuel Simango and Nushrat Khan (2021), ‘Research Data Management Adventure’, in 9th International Educational Games Competition (IEGC 2021), Brighton, 22 September 2021.

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This game is a piece of text-based interactive fiction that raises awareness of research data management (RDM) issues in a light-hearted and entertaining way. It can be used to test the player’s understanding of the topic independently of, prior to, or following on from traditional training; the feedback it provides can also act as a form of guidance in its own right.

The storyline follows a mid-career researcher managing a large project for the first time. The player tackles RDM challenges at five stages of the project, from initial proposal to publishing results.

Game play mainly resembles a traditional gamebook, but there are some more dynamic puzzles to solve. Points are awarded or deducted for the decisions made; the rationale is summarized on a scorecard viewable at certain points. The player’s actions have consequences for how the story unfolds: with more serious mistakes, the adventure ends early, but when played from start to finish there is a bonus section where players can (in character) reflect on their performance.

While the game works best when played in one go, each of the five stages can be played in isolation, making it suitable for use within a themed workshop.


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