Today a group of research library and higher education leadership associations released Implementing Effective Data Practices: Stakeholder Recommendations for Collaborative Research Support. In this new report, experts from library, research, and scientific communities provide key recommendations for effective data practices to support a more open research ecosystem. In December 2019, an invitational conference was convened by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the California Digital Library (CDL), the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU). The conference was sponsored by the US National Science Foundation (NSF).
The conference focused on designing guidelines for (1) using persistent identifiers (PIDs) for data sets, and (2) creating machine-readable data management plans (DMPs), two data practices that were recommended by NSF. Professor Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, of Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, designed and facilitated the convening with the project team.
The project team includes: John Chodacki from California Digital Library, Cynthia Hudson-Vitale from Pennsylvania State University, Natalie Meyers from University of Notre Dame, Jennifer Muilenburg from University of Washington, Maria Praetzellis from California Digital Library, Kacy Redd from Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Judy Ruttenberg from Association of Research Libraries, and Katie Steen from the Association of American Universities. There were additional contributions from Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld from Brandeis University and Maria Gould from California Digital Library.
Based on the information and insights shared during the conference, the project team developed a set of recommendations for the broad adoption and implementation of NSF’s recommended data practices. The report focuses on recommendations for research institutions and also provides guidance for publishers, tool builders, and professional associations. The AAU-APLU Institutional Guide to Accelerating Public Access to Research Data, forthcoming in spring 2021, will include the recommendations.
Five key takeaways from the report are:
- Center the researcher by providing tools, education, and services that are built around data management practices that accommodate the scholarly workflow.
- Create closer integration of library and scientific communities, including researchers, institutional offices of research, research computing, and disciplinary repositories.
- Provide sustaining support for the open PID infrastructure that is a core community asset and essential piece of scholarly infrastructure. Beyond adoption and use of PIDs, organizations that sustain identifier registries need the support of the research community.
- Unbundle the DMP, because the DMP as currently understood may be overloaded with too many expectations (for example, simultaneously a tool within the lab, among campus resource units, and with repositories and funding agencies). Unbundling may allow for different parts of a DMP to serve distinct and specific purposes.
- Unlock discovery by connecting PIDs across repositories to assemble diverse data to answer new questions, advance scholarship, and accelerate adoption by researchers.
The report is intended to encourage collaboration and conversation among a wide range of stakeholder groups in the research enterprise by showcasing how collaborative processes help with implementing PIDs and machine-actionable DMPs (maDMPs) in ways that can advance public access to research.
About the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise; advances diversity, equity, and inclusion; and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.
California Digital Library (CDL) is a unit within the department of Academic Affairs at the University of California Office of the President. CDL provides transformative digital library services, grounded in campus partnerships and extended through external collaborations, that amplify the impact of the libraries, scholarship, and resources of the University of California. The University of California Curation Center (UC3) is one of four main programs within the CDL, focusing on digital curation, research data management, persistent identifiers, data publishing, and digital preservation.
About the Association of American Universities
Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities (AAU) is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU’s 65 research universities transform lives through education, research, and innovation.
Our member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that improves public health, seeks to address national challenges, and contributes significantly to our economic strength, while educating and training tomorrow’s visionary leaders and innovators.
AAU member universities collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.
About the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)
APLU is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the US, Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of 246 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU’s agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement. Annually, member campuses enroll 5.0 million undergraduates and 1.3 million graduate students, award 1.3 million degrees, employ 1.3 million faculty and staff, and conduct $49.3 billion in university-based research.
About the National Science Foundation
The US National Science Foundation (NSF) propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments, and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the US as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities, and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and US participation in international scientific efforts.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1945938. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.