Research Data Management

In recent years, research data management (RDM) has assumed an increasingly prominent place in scholarly communication, funder requirements, codes of academic practice, university research strategy, and even national policy.

OCLC Research has followed these developments and responded with a program of work examining researchers' needs and the role of university libraries in supporting researchers and assisting universities in meeting emerging compliance requirements. OCLC has conducted qualitative and quantitative research and engaged the library community through Research Library Partnership working groups. Published findings position RDM within the broader landscape of an evolving scholarly record.

By examining the needs of stakeholders engaged throughout the data lifecycle, we aim to show the interconnectedness among needs and actions and provide practical guidance that improves data creation, management, curation and reuse experiences. Our research outputs also provide models for understanding RDM capacity acquisition as well as practical guidance for supporting researchers, and builds upon previous foundational work that situates RDM within the larger Evolving Scholarly Record.

Latest news

Full Four-Part The Realities of Research Data Management Report Series Published
The Realities of Research Data Management is a series of four reports looking at the context, influences, and choices research universities face in building or acquiring RDM capacity. The findings are derived from detailed case studies by OCLC researchers Rebecca Bryant, Brian Lavoie, and Constance Malpas of four research universities: the University of Edinburgh (UK), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (US), Monash University (Australia), and Wageningen University & Research (the Netherlands).

The first report, A Tour of the Research Data Management (RDM) Service Space, provided background context and a framework for subsequent reports, the second report, Scoping the University RDM Service Bundle, closely examined how each institution scoped its local RDM services. In the third report in the series, Incentives for Building University RDM Services, the authors explore the incentives that inspired the acquisition of RDM capacity on the part of the four research universities, and describe both the general patterns and context-dependent circumstances that shaped these incentives.

Part four, Sourcing and Scaling University RDM Services, examines institutional choices for sourcing the provision, and scaling the deployment, of RDM services.

Read more about the series.

Newly published: "Beyond the Archive: Bridging Data Creation and Reuse in Archaeology" in Advances in Archaeological Practice
This paper presents research on archaeological data creation and management practices at two excavations in Europe in order to gain a better understanding of how to align these practices with the data reuse needs of a broader research community. The Secret Life of Data (SLO-data) project follows the lifecycle of data from the field to the digital repository to better understand opportunities and challenges in data interpretation, publication and preservation. We report our findings and offer readers guidance on streamlining data collection for reuse during their excavation projects.

Read the article.


Developing RDM Capacity and Programs

Disciplinary Perspectives and Needs

For more information

Team Members

Rebecca Bryant, Senior Program Officer

Ixchel Faniel, Senior Research Scientist

Brian Lavoie, Senior Research Scientist

Constance Malpas, Strategic Intelligence Manager & Research Scientist