The Realities of Research Data Management: Part One Now Available!

Check out the new OCLC Research report A Tour of the Research Data Management (RDM) Service Space, the first in a four-part series exploring the realities of research data management. This report provides background on RDM’s emergence as an important new service area supporting 21st century scholarship, and offers a high-level description of the RDM service space as it stands today.

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 scoping local RDM service offerings, the incentives for acquiring RDM capacity, and sourcing and scaling RDM services.

A Tour of the Research Data Management (RDM) Service Space begins the report series by providing background on the emergence of RDM as a key research support service on campus. The report goes on to describe the broad contours of the current RDM service space, identifying three major service categories: Education, Expertise, and Curation. This high-level view of the RDM service space will help organize subsequent reports’ discussion of the RDM service offerings at the four case study institutions.

RDM is both an opportunity and a challenge for many research universities. But research data management is not a discrete, well-defined service, and RDM solutions are not of the one-size-fits-all variety. Moving beyond 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. Future reports in this series will examine these decisions in the context of the choices made by the case study partners.

Stay tuned for more updates and outputs from The Realities of Research Data Management project!