Announcing the V1.1 Release of the RCD Capabilities Model

Internet2, CaRCC, and EDUCAUSE are pleased to announce that there is a new version of the Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model (RCD CM) just in time for you to complete your Institutional assessment and contribute to the 2021 RCD CM Community Dataset!

The Research Computing and Data Capabilities Model allows institutions to assess their support for computationally- and data-intensive research, to identify potential areas for improvement, and to understand how the broader community views Research Computing and Data support.

What’s new in the v1.1 release?

In response to community feedback, we have simplified a few things to make it easier to access and complete your institutional assessment:

  • A simpler Access Request form requires less information to complete. We’re now using the 2018 Carnegie Classification data to get your institution type (R1, R2, etc.), minority serving status, etc. 
  • A number of users felt the Local Weight/Relevance column was confusing, so we removed it, and incorporated a simpler variant on this elsewhere.
  • Many users felt that the Multi-Institutional Collaboration answers weighed too heavily in the computed coverage. We updated the calculations to reduce the impact of this question, and to give a boost (extra credit!!) to institutions that were sustaining or leading collaborations for a given topic.

The bulk of the Model and the questions remain essentially the same as in v1.0, so if you’ve attended one of our workshops or webinars, it will still look very familiar, and you can happily discuss your experience with everyone who completed an assessment in 2020!

Why should we contribute our RCD CM Assessment to the 2021 Community Dataset?

We’re so glad you asked! Contributing institutions help build the Community Dataset, and enrich the resulting picture we have of our community. You will also get an individualized Benchmarking report that compares your assessment to the community, and segments of the community (R1s, R2s, Public or Private institutions, etc.). Finally, you get access to the anonymized, aggregated dataset, if you really like digging into data. 

Sounds good – how do we get our copy and complete the assessment?

First, go to the new Access Request Form and fill it out. That will create an individualized copy of the v1.1 RCD CM Assessment tool for your institution. Then, read the Introduction and Guide to Use, and gather your team to complete the assessment. You can get help from the RCD CM working group by emailing, or subscribe to the discussion list (click here to join) to hear how other institutions are completing their assessment, and using it as part of strategic planning. You can also get help by joining our RCD CM Office Hours.

Here’s a timeline suggested by folks who worked on assessments last year:

In May: Get your copy and review the Guide. Think about who should be on the team that will complete the assessment (including, e.g., partners in central IT and/or the library). Your team can be just a few people (at smaller and emerging programs) or you could build a team with specialists for each facing.

In June: Your teams should meet to discuss the assessment, fill out most of it. Identify specific questions that may need additional input, and who can help with them.

In July: Review your assessment, discuss with your advisory board, and mark priorities for attention. We’re also holding a Workshop at PEARC21 on Strategic Planning using the Model. Watch the website for details!

In August: Submit your assessment to the 2021 Community Dataset (details to follow this summer).

In Fall/Winter 2021: Receive your Individualized Benchmarking report, the Contributors’ detailed Community Dataset report, and the full dataset if you’d like to dig deeper. 

What if we’ve already started with the original version of the Assessment?

Not a problem! It is largely the same, so just get a copy of the new one (as described above), and fill it out. With a little care you can even copy your answers over from the old spreadsheet (we’ll post instructions soon on the website). Feel free to contact us if you want help with this to ensure your data is transferred correctly.