New OCLC Research report explores the Realities of Research Data Management

First in a four-part series focuses on decision-making in planning, developing and deploying institutional RDM services

DUBLIN, Ohio, 30 March 2017—A new OCLC Research report, A Tour of the Research Data Management (RDM) Service Space, provides an overview of the RDM service space and sets the stage for further exploration of RDM at four universities around the world.

This report, released today, is the first in a four-part series, The Realities of Research Data Management, which focuses on decision-making at four institutions that have made different choices in confronting the realities of planning, developing and deploying institutional RDM services in research universities.

Rebecca Bryant, Senior Program Officer, Brian Lavoie, Research Scientist, and Constance Malpas, Strategic Intelligence Manager & Research Scientist, conducted case studies of the University of Edinburgh (UK), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (US), Monash University (Australia) and Wageningen University & Research (the Netherlands), examining how these institutions have acquired RDM capacity.

"Research data management has emerged as an area of keen interest in higher education, leading to considerable investment in services, resources and infrastructure to support researchers' data management needs," the authors explain in the report's introduction. "This is the first in a series of reports by OCLC Research which examines the context, influences and choices higher education institutions face in building or acquiring RDM capacity—in other words, the infrastructure, services and other resources needed to support emerging data management practices."

In addition to the four in-depth case studies, the authors reviewed RDM services at more than a dozen research universities in North America, Europe and Australia—in a variety of national settings. They found that RDM services align into three categories:

  • Education—aimed at educating researchers and other stakeholders on the importance, and in some cases, the necessity, of responsibly managing their data and making arrangements for its long-term curation
  • Expertise—these services provide decision support and customized solutions for researchers working through specific research data management problems
  • Curation—services to supply technical infrastructure and related services that support data management throughout the research cycle

A Tour of the Research Data Management (RDM) Service Space delves into these three categories, provides a frame for the four-part series, and gives a preview of the next report in the series.

Download a copy of the new report from the OCLC Research website.

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