CLIR Publishes "Research Data Management: Principles, Practices, and Prospects"

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Report explores expectations, institutional policies, and professional preparation for research data management.

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Research data management is one of the most important new strategic issues facing research universities.

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has published "Research Data Management: Principles, Practices, and Prospects." The report examines how research institutions are responding to data management requirements of the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and other federal agencies. It also considers what role, if any, academic libraries and the library and information science profession should have in supporting researchers’ data management needs.

The report documents what institutions are doing to create data management policies or provide practical support for researchers, what approaches are being developed at regional and national scales, how professional schools are preparing to meet the challenge of data management, and research ethics and the problems of data sharing. University of North Texas (UNT) Library Director Martin Halbert opens the report by discussing the DataRes Project, a two-year investigation of data management practices conducted at UNT with colleagues Spencer D. C. Keralis, Shannon Stark, and William E. Moen. His introduction is followed by four papers that were presented at a symposium on data management that UNT organized in December 2012.

“Research data management is one of the most important new strategic issues facing research universities,” notes Halbert. “Academic libraries now must decide what stance they will take toward this increasingly prominent category of institutional research content. Academic leaders must now begin to make prioritization decisions regarding the preservation of research data, or these important intellectual assets will continue to be gravely at risk.”

Research libraries and library and information science programs are scrambling to respond to the new requirements and to understand the implications for curriculum training for students and working information professionals.

“The thing that really surprised me from this research was how very few universities have policies governing research data management,” said DataRes researcher Keralis, who is also director for digital scholarship and research associate professor with UNT Library’s Digital Scholarship Co-operative. “At the close of the project it seems there’s a great reluctance to engage with this issue at an institutional level, and that’s going to have to change if these federal mandates continue.”

The volume includes a copy of “The Denton Declaration: An Open Data Manifesto,” written in May 2012 by a group of technologists and librarians, scholars and researchers, university administrators, and other stakeholders who gathered at UNT to discuss and articulate best practices and emerging trends in research data management.

“The DataRes report comes at a critical moment in the data management conversation,” said Rachel Frick, director of CLIR’s Digital Library Federation program. “I hope our community will use this report to inform and evaluate its work.”

The report is available as a PDF download free of charge at

About CLIR
CLIR is an independent, nonprofit organization that forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. It aims to promote forward-looking collaborative solutions that transcend disciplinary, institutional, professional, and geographic boundaries in support of the public good.

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Kathlin Smith
Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)
since: 01/2010
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