Over the past two decades, there has been an increase in multi-national research initiatives. However, this multi-national ecosystem is complicated as researchers are expected to adapt to differences in research approaches and tools as well as navigate sharing resources, materials, and data across national borders, all while abiding by international and institutional laws, policies, and ethical guidelines. More specifically, preliminary research has shown that researchers involved in international collaborations have experienced challenges in (1) navigating multiple institutional administrative requirements, international laws, and IP conditions, (2) deciding what tools to use as different tools are available for data sharing, data analysis, and data publication, (3) understanding the scope of IT infrastructure offerings for data sharing across partners in the international research collaboration, as well as (4) establishing effective practices for virtual communication.
FAIR data management has been enhanced through the expertise and support of data stewards. However, to effectively facilitate team science or research collaborations at an international scale, the data steward needs to understand the complexities of international, collaborative research to support FAIR data and provide transparent guidance regarding international laws, policies, and ethical guidelines surrounding data. Thus, to make international research more efficient as well as reduce administrative burden on researchers, the services, roles, and support of data stewards need to be extended.