NEW: The Realities of Research Data Management: Part Two Now Available!

We are excited to announce the release of Scoping the University RDM Service Bundle, the second report in OCLC Research’s four-part series exploring the realities of research data management. This report examines the RDM capacity acquired by four research universities in four different national contexts, highlighting key factors that shaped the contours of this capacity, and providing 13 takeaways that provide useful starting points for institutions as they consider their own RDM services.

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. Future reports will focus on the incentives for acquiring RDM capacity, and sourcing and scaling RDM services.

Scoping the University RDM Service Bundle continues the report series by taking an in-depth look at the RDM service bundles of our four case study partners. An RDM service bundle is the range of local RDM services offered by a university, including those that are provided externally and for which the university arranges access for affiliated researchers. An important conclusion from our examination of the four case studies is that RDM is not a monolithic set of services duplicated across universities, but a customized solution shaped by a range of internal and external factors operating on local decision-making. Scoping an RDM service bundle is not a binary question of whether or not to acquire RDM capacity, but a nuanced question of which specific RDM services are needed to support local needs.

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.

Visit the Realities of Research Data Management website to access all the reports, as well as other project outputs.