Starting the Conversation report addresses benefits of university-wide research data management policies

Written by Senior Program Officer Ricky Erway, Starting the Conversation: University-wide Research Data Management Policy is a call for action that summarizes the benefits of systemic data management planning and identifies the stakeholders and their concerns. It suggests that the library director proactively initiate a conversation among these stakeholders to get buy-in for a high-level, responsible data planning and management policy that is proactive, rather than reactive. It also addresses the various topics that should be discussed and provides a checklist of issues to help the discussion result in a supportable and sustainable policy.

Key highlights from the report include:

  • The benefits of funder-required data management planning should apply to all research data
  • Research and Compliance Offices, IT, Academic units, the Library, and Researchers should be involved in setting policy
  • An entrepreneurial person may need to get things going—why not the library director?

The intended audience for this call for action is library directors, not only because their libraries may be recipients of data in need of curation and of requests for guidance, but—more importantly—because library staff have significant skills and experience to contribute to the discussion. This is an opportunity for the library director to play an entrepreneurial role in furthering the mission of the larger enterprise.

This report was made possible by the contributions and support of the OCLC Research Library Partnership Data Curation Policy Working Group whose broad range of experience and perspectives was invaluable. This work is an output of our Role of Libraries in Data Curation activity, which falls under our work agenda theme of Advancing the Research Mission.



For more information:

Ricky Erway
Senior Program Officer
OCLC Research


Melissa Renspie
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research


Quick links:

Starting the Conversation: University-wide Research Data Management Policy

  • Download the report (.pdf: 187K/24pp.) [link]

Report overview page [link]

Advancing the Research Mission theme [link]

Role of Libraries in Data Curation activity [link]

Ricky Erway [link]

Data Curation Policy Working Group [link]


Suggested citation:

Erway, Ricky. 2013. Starting the Conversation: University-wide Research Data Management Policy. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC Research.

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