For Librarians & Data Stewards

Librarians and data stewards provide services that support researchers in managing their data during projects; they provide longer-term care or stewardship of data after the life of a project.

Portage helps librarians and data stewards support researchers and their institutions by providing high quality research data management services and infrastructure.

How to Provide Research Data Management Services

Research data management services typically serve two levels of research activity on a campus:

  • Support for individual research projects or programs of research
    • These services are directed towards researchers who are producing data.
    • The stages of the data lifecycle that pertain in this case deal with best practices regarding: planning, collecting, editing, processing, transforming, documenting, securing, analyzing, and sharing data. <<could be an image>>
  • Services that support the stewardship of research data for the whole institution  
    • These services are directed towards managing an institution’s collection of research data and its long-term stewardship.
    • The stages of the data lifecycle that pertain in this case deal with: curating data, preserving data, discovering data, providing access to data, and supporting infrastructure for these services. <<could be an image>>

Work with researchers and their data

  • The capacity to support researchers on a campus requires that librarians and data stewards work together. Librarians need to engage with researchers about their data.
    • Coming soon! Portage is developing tools to help you learn more about research data management, and how to approach researchers to talk about data  
  • Data management plans are instrumental in getting researchers to prepare data for life beyond the project stage.
    • The Portage DMP Assistant is a bilingual tool that helps researchers to create a data management plan
    • Coming soon! Portage is developing support materials to help you familiarize yourself with data management plans so you can support researchers in their data management planning.

Provide RDM training

  • Providing research data management training to students and researchers helps them to learn about best practices and to discover campus support for data services.
    • Coming soon! Portage is developing training resources to help you offer RDM training to both graduate students and researchers

Develop RDM services and infrastructure at your institution

  • Services and infrastructure are needed to support an institutional collection of research data
    • Coming soon! Portage is developing tools to help you develop local RDM policies, services and infrastructure at your institution.

Partner and work with other RDM stakeholders on campus

  • Support for research on a campus involves multiple service units, for example, the research services office, research ethics office, the information technology unit, the library, and others
  • Coming soon! Portage is developing resources to help you engage with research service units on your campus to provide coordinated RDM services to the coordination of management activities across research that reduces the administrative burden on researchers and protects the digital assets of institutions. Portage also works with Canada’s funding agencies to ensure that RDM services are aligned with policy requirements.

Why are research data management policies important?

  • Research data are valuable assets that, If properly managed, have virtually limitless potential to be re-used in innovative ways. Applying best practices to safeguard these assets will protect public and private investment in research.

The proper management of research data is also an integral part of good research practice.

  • Policies provide an important strategic framework for research data management. In many cases they help to assign roles and responsibilities

Learn about the principles underlying research data management

  • RDM Policies are based on underlying principles. The Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management is an example of this from Canada’s research funding councils. This document identifies expectations and responsibilities for the management of data produced through public funding.

Ensure your institution can comply with external requirements

  • A growing number of funders are adopting research data management (or sharing) policies. These policies have implications in terms of how researchers collect, organize and disseminate their data with others and how universities support these activities.
  • In Canada, the Tri-Agencies have published a statement of principles. These principles will guide the three agencies in the development of RDM policies. Some funders, in Canada and elsewhere, have already adopted policies.

Develop a research data management policy at your institution

  • Adopting an institutional RDM policy is an important step in establishing effective and sustainable services and infrastructure for research data management
  • Increasingly, institutions are adopting RDM policies. In Canada, a working group of VPRs and other university administrators is drafting a statement of principles on research data management for Canadian universities. This statement will provide a foundation for data policy in our universities.

For Service & Infrastructure Providers

Service and infrastructure providers provide digital infrastructure supporting research activities, including research data management. Such infrastructure in Canada tends to be built and maintained at the regional or local levels. There has been little national platform development in research data management in Canada and as a consequence, stakeholders have had to build this infrastructure from the bottom up. Building from the bottom up requires coordination and cooperation to successfully integrate infrastructure and services.

Portage collaborates with research infrastructure providers to establish best practices for data management in the workflow of researchers and to integrate services supporting research data.

Contribute to the overall tools and services making up Canada’s research data management infrastructure

  • A primary goal of a coordinated digital research ecosystem in Canada is to provide tools and services that help researchers manage their data and that support institutions in protecting and providing access to their research data assets. This necessitates infrastructure providers to work with other stakeholders.
  • Research data management cuts across domains and sectors requiring a diverse set of tools and services. By working with other infrastructure and service providers, the Canadian digital research infrastructure is strengthened for all stakeholders.
  • Interacting with other infrastructure and service providers helps developers plan research data management tools that interoperate and allows researchers the greatest flexibility in creating productive data management workflows.

Partner with other stakeholders to provide research data management infrastructure and services

  • Through partnerships, stakeholders can provide researchers with a better coordinated complement of data management infrastructure and services.
  • An emphasis on standards and interoperability is required to work in partnership with other stakeholders. This produces best practices in research data management infrastructure and services and supports the production of high quality research data.
  • Partnerships allow a more efficient use of resources in developing infrastructure and in its deployment.

Cooperate in building a national research data culture through collaboration with other research data management stakeholders

  • The infrastructure and services provided for research data management establishes and reinforces best practices that reflect the underlying data culture in Canada. As data sharing and reproducible research findings increasingly become dominant values in the Canadian research ecosystem, infrastructure and services will be expected to support practices that embody these principles.
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