Every year the University of Alberta Libraries organizes a Research Data Management Week to bring faculty, staff, students, and community data specialists together around data management. I was part of an panel session today on the subject. One of the issues we discussed with was how to deal with a likely requirement from funding agencies like SSHRC that Research Data Management Plans be submitted with grants. Some thoughts on this:
- Such a requirement will build on the Principles on Digital Data Management
- Researchers will initially need help understanding what a DMP (Data Management Plan) is. The Portage Network DMP Assistant can help, but many will need an introduction to the issues.
- Research universities and libraries will need to develop strategies for supporting projects to meet their new obligations. We will need the infrastructure to match.
- There will be push back from some scholarly associations. Others, like CSDH-SCHN will welcome this as we have policies that support the idea.
- There is a cost to properly curating, documenting and depositing research data. This cost comes typically at the end of projects when the funds are spent. We will need to do a better job budgeting for data management/deposit.
- We need to develop small grants and services for projects to help them go the last mile in curating and depositing their content. At the Kule Institute we developed CRAfT grants in partnership with the UofA Libraries. These grants are meant for prototyping digital archives. Now we need to think about a program to help with the final archiving.