Research data are an asset for research institutions. Their creation, management and stewardship imposes considerable responsibilities and requires partnership and alignment with other institutions and research initiatives globally. All over the world universities and libraries have started the task of developing research data services, many aspiring to cover the entire research lifecycle: support in writing proposals and data management plans, repository infrastructures for the storage of data, support in publishing data, assignment of persistent identifiers, lecturing in data management, etc. This broad scope means that such services are often seen as requiring a joint effort from university, library, IT centre, faculties and other stakeholders.
FAIR Research Data Management involves robust planning, policies and infrastructure. Institutes that produce and consume data are required to ensure seamless accessibility to data and ensure practices that foster its reuse. Often institutes are less aware of existing good practices and progress in implementing Institutional Research Data Management. Improved awareness and knowledge sharing can help reduce duplication in initiatives, and avoid redundant and inefficient practices at various points in the data lifecycle. There is a widely recognised need to assist knowledge sharing between institutions and to do this in an increasingly structured way, by using (and where necessary refining) maturity models such as the DCC RISE http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/how-guides/RISE. Equally, effective knowledge sharing can help reduce the gap between rich and poor institutions and between universities or research organisations in economically advantaged and disadvantaged contexts.
The proposed BoF Session will build on a series of events and a previous RDA BoF and unconference session and a collocated event taking place on 20-21 October ‘Helsinki-CODATA Workshop on FAIR RDM in Institutions’.
The objective will be:
to summarise and communicate outcomes from the collocated event; and,
to conduct an exercise to coordinate and advance ways of benchmarking institutional RDM provision and assisting institutions in sharing knowledge about their approaches and the challenges faced.
The output will be a set of priority areas where institutions are facing the greatest challenges. This will in turn be used to create a proposal for an IG on RDM in Research Institutions. The purpose will be to identify areas for ongoing discussion and inter-institutional knowledge sharing - and in all likelihood specific activities for future WGs.
The intended outcome is a plan of action for an RDA IG to collaborate with other international organisations and research institutions on a series of activities to promote targeted knowledge sharing. This will likely include thematic workshops and a series of publications on the issues causing most difficulty for research institutions around the world.
The scope of this is distinct from that of the IG on Research Data Architectures in Research Institutions because it will take a holistic view, examining strategies, research and resourcing priorities, funding, policies and training. Where it is necessary to touch on RDM systems from a technical perspective, we will engage with and collaborate with the Research Data Architectures in Research Institutions IG.