Drafting a Research Data Management Policy

This morning, four of us (Bev Jones and Paul Stainthorp, Library; Annalisa Jones, Research Office; and Joss Winn, Centre for Educational Research and Development) met for three hours to draft a Research Data Management Policy for the University.

We began by Paul and Bev summarising their experience attending the RDM Policy workshop in Leeds last month, and then went on to look at the requirements of UK funding bodies, as summarised by the DCC. We then reviewed the four university RDM policies linked to from the DCC’s institutional policy page and set about creating a draft policy for Lincoln, which will first be reviewed by the Orbital Steering Group later this week and then referred to the Academic Board and Research, Innovation and Enterprise Committee for approval.

Our draft policy is modelled on the Cross Council Policy Overview by the DCC, which broke down funders’ policies as follows:

  • Published outputs: a policy on published outputs e.g. journal articles and conference papers
  • Data: a datasets policy or statement on access to and maintenance of electronic resources
  • Time limits: set timeframes for making content accessible or preserving research outputs
  • Data plan: requirement to consider data creation, management or sharing in the grant application
  • Access/sharing: promotion of OA journals, deposit in repositories, data sharing or reuse
  • Long-term curation: stipulations on long-term maintenance and preservation of research outputs
  • Monitoring: whether compliance is monitored or action taken such as withholding funds
  • Guidance: provision of FAQs, best practice guides, toolkits, and support staff
  • Repository: provision of a repository to make published research outputs accessible
  • Data centre: provision of a data centre to curate unpublished electronic resources or data
  • Costs: a willingness to meet publication fees and data management / sharing costs

We then drew from Edinburgh’s policy to look at how it meets each of these points. Then, we began merging points and writing a policy response, again borrowing from Edinburgh at times.

You can read our draft policy online. If you’re interested in seeing in detail how it was written, go to the File menu, click on See revision history and then at the bottom of the page, click Show more detailed revisions. Amendments to the policy will continue to be made at that location, so we should see the full history of the policy development over time.  Sorry, it appears that in read-only mode, Google docs doesn’t allow access to the document revision history. UPDATE: See the link to a version maintained on Github in the comments below.

I should note that this is intended to be a pithy policy statement, similar to what other institutions have written and will be supported by more detailed written guidance, which we’ll develop over the course of the Orbital project.

14 Replies to “Drafting a Research Data Management Policy”

  1. Thanks Joss

    “Then, we began merging points and writing a policy response”.

    Are you able to state what the differences and similarities between Edinburgh’s high-level aspirational RDM policy and Lincoln’s draft policy? I’m currently going back and forth between the two but it would be good to know why certain things were kept and not kept.

    1. I’ve added it to Github and tried to reflect how the initial draft was constructed in the commits. It’s much more revealing to flick through the revisions in Google Docs, because it tracks changes in much more detail that you would record as commits to Git, but I’ll keep Github updated with major changes to the document. https://github.com/lncd/RDM-Policy

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