A new year heralds a new RDM report! Check out Incentives for Building University RDM Services, the third report in OCLC Research’s four-part series exploring the realities of research data management. Our new report explores the range of incentives catalyzing university deployment of RDM services. Our findings in brief: RDM is not a fad, but instead a rational response by universities to powerful incentives originating from both internal and external sources.
The Realities of Research Data Management, an OCLC Research project, explores the context and choices research universities face in building or acquiring RDM capacity. Findings are derived from detailed case studies of four research universities: University of Edinburgh, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Monash University, and Wageningen University and Research. Previous reports examined the RDM service space, and the scope of the RDM services deployed by our case study partners. Our final report will address sourcing and scaling choices in acquiring RDM capacity.
Incentives for Building University RDM Services continues the report series by examining the factors which motivated our four case study universities to supply RDM services and infrastructure to their affiliated researchers. We identify four categories of incentives of particular importance to RDM decision-making: compliance with external data mandates; evolving scholarly norms around data management; institutional strategies related to researcher support; and researcher demand for data management support. Our case studies suggest that the mix of incentives motivating universities to act in regard to RDM differ from university to university. Incentives, ultimately, are local.
RDM is both an opportunity and a challenge for many research universities. Moving beyond the recognition of RDM’s importance requires facing the realities of research data management. Each institution must shape its local RDM service offering by navigating several key inflection points: deciding to act, deciding what to do, and deciding how to do it. Our Realities of RDM report series examines these decisions in the context of the choices made by the case study partners.
Brian Lavoie is a Research Scientist in OCLC Research. He has worked on projects in many areas, such as digital preservation, cooperative print management, and data-mining of bibliographic resources. He was a co-founder of the working group that developed the PREMIS Data Dictionary for preservation metadata, and served as co-chair of a US National Science Foundation blue-ribbon task force on economically sustainable digital preservation. Brian’s academic background is in economics; he has a Ph.D. in agricultural economics. Brian’s current research interests include stewardship of the evolving scholarly record, analysis of collective collections, and the system-wide organization of library resources.