Research Data Management in the Canadian Context: A Guide for Practitioners and Learners

Project Title
Research Data Management in the Canadian Context: A Guide for Practitioners and Learners
Principal InvestigatorEugene Barsky
Co-ApplicantsEmily Carlisle-Johnston, Research and Scholarly Communication Librarian, Western University,
Elizabeth Hill, Data Librarian, Western University
Kristi Thompson, Research Data Librarian, Western University
FacultyUBC Library
Funding Year2022
Project SummaryWith the recent release of a Research Data Management (RDM) policy by Canada’s Tri-Agency, RDM has become crucially important. All researchers who apply for grants to fund data-related research must now meet requirements including writing Data Management Plans and preparing data for archiving. Libraries have traditionally supported RDM, and RDM is occasionally taught in Canadian library schools (including at Western). Given the heightened attention to RDM, the need for greater education and the number of courses is likely to increase. However, at present, there are no suitable teaching resources for the Canadian context. Internationally, resources such as Corti et al’s (2014) Managing and Sharing Research Data exist, and some brief primers and other Canadian resources have been shared online. A comprehensive, peer-reviewed educational resource suited to the unique Canadian regulatory context and appropriate for use in classrooms does not exist.

Data management covers all aspects of handling, organizing, documenting and enhancing data. It is particularly important for facilitating data sharing, ensuring the sustainability and accessibility of data in the long-term, and allowing data to be re-used for future science” (Lamar Soutter Library, 2021). Basic data management is an important skill for students and professionals alike to have, especially if their current/future career is research-intensive or requires day-to-day handling of data of any kind.

A number of Canadian academics and librarians, including faculty who teach existing RDM courses, formed a group to discuss creating a bilingual, made-in-Canada solution to this issue. We are creating a Canadian RDM Open textbook. Each section will cover the fundamentals of RDM that have been identified as necessary by RDM practitioners and instructors. The resource will be peer-reviewed, copy- edited, and published in French and English via Pressbooks. It will include interactive media and self- assessment activities. As the textbook will be an Open Educational Resource (OER), instructors, students, and professionals can use the resource as-is or customize it to meet needs.nd the entire book will be translated to be available in both English and French. We have recruited a panel of Indigenous authors to write a chapter on ethically working with Indigenous data and respecting Indigenous data sovereignty – a complex topic that is of vital relevance.
Grant type OER Rapid Innovation
Funded Amount $2,000