VC Research News: Making Research Data Management work

March 13, 2013

By Stein Sture, Vice Chancellor for Research

Over the last year, as part of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research's Research Computing Initiative, the Data Management Task Force (DMTF) assessed the current state of Research Data Management (RDM) at CU-Boulder, using surveys, review of peer institutions, and synthesis of existing data lifecycle models. Based on their findings, the DMTF recommends that CU-Boulder take the following steps to develop the RDM infrastructure needed to compete and lead on a global scale:
  • Endorse and establish an ethical, open data policy at the campus level as a first and fundamental step toward successful RDM.
  • Highlight RDM on campus by encouraging Deans and Chairs to value and acknowledge RDM-related activities in the promotion and tenure process.
  • Develop outreach and communication efforts around RDM.
  • Develop clear policies and procedures for research data that address issues of ownership, access and preservation, ethical and legal concerns (e.g., privacy), and roles and responsibilities.
  • Encourage faculty to consider various forms of Open Access publishing, a necessary compliment to open data sharing, as noted by the National Science Board (2011).
  • Create a Research Data Services (RDS) unit to begin immediately providing basic RDM services to researchers including referrals to existing resources, data management planning, storage for active data, and archiving of completed data sets.
  • Invest in appropriate personnel and technology and establish a sustainable funding model for both of these integral pieces.
  • Leverage existing solutions for data management including systems and local, national, or international data repositories, where they exist.
 
Final report is available in the Digital Collections of Colorado at http://hdl.handle.net/10971/1398
 
Since the release of the report in late December 2012, a few of the recommendations have been realized:
  • The Dean of the University of Colorado Libraries and the office of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology are taking the first steps towards the RDM infrastructure.  
  • Following the recommendation to create a Research Data Services (RDS) group that provides basic RDM services to researchers, we have created a web site http://data.colorado.edu that provides information about data management and links to tools and resources.  RDS is a partnership between Research Computing and the University Libraries and will include other groups with relevant expertise.
  • As a researcher you can contact RDS by sending an email to data-help@colorado.edu
  • The Research Data Executive Committee (RDEC) has been formed and is meeting regularly to advise, support, and authorize the Research Data Services Operations group’s efforts.  This committee consists of the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research (Tricia Rankin), the Director of Research Computing (Thomas Hauser), and an Associate Dean or other senior personnel from University Libraries (Jina Choi Wakimoto). Current ex-officio members include the Research Data and Metadata Librarian (Andrew Johnson) from University Libraries and the Research Data Specialist (to be hired) from Research Computing, both from the Research Data Services Operations group.
  • Additionally, RDEC has been working on a charge and membership for the Research Data Advisory Committee (RDAC), which would direct research data governance, procedures and policies at the campus level, while ensuring broad representation of faculty members and other stakeholders.
 
Any questions, comments, and suggestions can be addressed to data-help@colorado.edu
 
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