Research Data Management


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Blog posts

Let’s cook up some metadata consistency 21 November 2019

Increase data reusability and enhance your curation investments with these three tips 7 August 2019

RDM: A challenge too big to tackle alone 14 February 2019

RLP Research Data Management Interest Group: Acquiring RDM Services for Your Institution 6 February 2019

RLP Research Data Management Interest Group: Identifying and Acting on Incentives When Planning RDM Services 11 December 2018

RLP Research Data Management Interest Group: Understanding Institutional RDM Services 1 November 2018

Preserving Research Data: Are you ready for a long-term commitment? 13 December 2018

Libraries and RDM: Three decisions, three components, three realities 24 May 2018

Mini-symposium on RDM in Leiden 9 May 2018

The OCLC Research Library Partnership: the challenges of developing scholarly services in a decentralized landscape (European edition) 7 March 2018

The OCLC Research Library Partnership: the challenges of developing scholarly services in a decentralized landscape (North American edition) 7 January 2018

Use OCLC Research to Examine the Realities of Research Data Management at Your Institution 7 November 2017

On librarians and RDM 5 June 2017

Bringing order to the chaos of digital data 15 March 2017

Case studies in RDM capacity acquisition: A new project 20 October 2016

Metadata for research data management 18 April 2016

Data Management and Curation in 21st Century Archives – Part 2 29 September 2015

Data Management and Curation in 21st Century Archives – Part 1 1 September 2015


Case studies in cross-institutional collaboration

“OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO” together: Case studies in cross-institutional collaboration

By Rebecca Bryant, Alison Hitchens, Ian Milligan, Anne Rauh

2022 Charleston Conference

To develop robust research support services throughout the entire research life cycle, individuals and units from across the university, including the library, must collaborate beyond internal silos. To ensure user adoption and project success, libraries must address the “social ‘stuff’” by building trusted relationships, securing buy-in, and managing resistance. A recent OCLC Research report called this specific type of soft skill “social interoperability,” and defined it as the ability to create and maintain working relationships between individuals and organizational units that promote collaboration, communication, and mutual understanding.

The need to work effectively across campus is particularly true for the new generation of research support services like data management, RIM systems, and research analytics where services are distributed across many stakeholder units, including research administration, campus IT, colleges, departments . . . and, of course, the library. In this presentation, we will share an overview of the challenges, opportunities, and imperative for cross-campus collaboration, offering strategies and tactics that anyone can apply to increase their own “social interoperability.”

Panelists from Syracuse University and the University of Waterloo will provide real-world case studies of successful cross-campus social interoperability. At Syracuse, the library has reorganized internally and developed relationships externally with the Office of Research in order to build a suite of services around research information management, open scholarship, and research impact. Waterloo is also working successfully with the Office of Research, central IT, and other campus stakeholders to develop an institutional research data management strategy that fosters research excellence and imagines how lasting collaboration can deliver effective services.

Topics: Research Support, Research Information Management, Research Data Management

Mural of factory workers and large machines. An iconic work by Mexican artist Diego Rivera, depicting Detroit industry.

Opening Keynote: Workflow is the New Content

By Lorcan Dempsey

Digital Initiatives Symposium, University of San Diego


The digital environment makes workflow support more important, as activities, content, and communications are tied together on the network in various combinations. Think of the interesting mix of social and functional capacities in an application like Strava, used by athletes to track activity and connect with others. In a library or research environment this trend is also clear. Research practices, and the support provided by libraries, publishers and others, provide an intriguing example, as workflows produce, manage and consume content, enable collaboration, and tie devices together to get things done.

We are familiar with the historic role of the Institutional Repository, and libraries are now potentially working with colleagues to provide research information management systems and research data management capacity. This presentation will consider some of these issues, in the context of changing research behaviors, metrics, the move to open, and other factors.


Lorcan coordinates strategic planning and oversees the Membership and Research Division at OCLC. He has worked for library and educational organizations in Ireland, the UK, and the US. His influence on national policy and library directions is widely recognized. In 2010 he received the National Federation of Advanced Information Services' (NFAIS) highest award, The Miles Conrad Award. He is an honorary Doctor of the Open University in the UK and has twice received an ALCTS Presidential Citation for his work with OCLC colleagues. Lorcan began his career in public libraries in his native Dublin, Ireland. Before moving to OCLC, he managed the UK higher education national investment in information services for Jisc. He is a member of the Cambridge University Library Visiting Committee. Lorcan has a BA and MLIS from University College Dublin

Topics: Research Support, Research Information Management, Research Data Management

Open for All, Reusable for Whom?: A Review of What Data Reusers Want and How Data Repositories Can Deliver.

Open for All, Reusable for Whom?: A Review of What Data Reusers Want and How Data Repositories Can Deliver

By Ixchel M. Faniel, Lisa Johnston, Katie Wissel

Open Repositories 2021

Understanding how data reusers seek and evaluate potential data for reuse will aid data curators, data managers, and developers in the open repository field. We will review past studies of data reusers, specifically a qualitative study of 105 researchers from three disciplinary communities: quantitative social science, archaeology, and zoology. The study identified 12 types of context information that data reusers mention needing when deciding whether to reuse data. Next, we will use the context types to create a feature set and assess how data repositories provide the needed context information to users. Finally, using findings from our assessment, we will showcase desirable features in use to prototype the design of a reuser-oriented data repository that developers can use to improve their data repository interface.

Topics: Open Access, Research Data Management

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Team Members

Rebecca Bryant, Senior Program Officer

Ixchel Faniel, Senior Research Scientist

Brian Lavoie, Senior Research Scientist

Planning Guide

A three-part set of resources, which includes webinars and guides, to support planning and decision making at institutions considering and developing RDM services. View the Planning Guide.