Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Do You Have an Institutional Data Policy?

Do You Have an Institutional Data Policy? A Review of the Current Landscape of Library Data Services and Institutional Data Policies. Kristin Briney, Abigail Goben, Lisa Zilinski. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 22 Sep 2015.  [PDF]
     This study was to look at a correlation between policy existence and either library data services or the presence of a data librarian. Data services in libraries are becoming mainstream and librarians have an opportunity to work with researchers at their institutions and help them understand the policies in place or to work toward a policy. Some items of note from the article:
  • Fewer universities have a data librarian on staff (37%) than offer data services.
  • Many libraries (65%) have a research data repository, either in an IR or in a repository specifically for data. 
  • Fewer universities (11%) have dedicated data repositories as compared with IRs that accept data (58%).
  • All universities with over $1 billion per year in research expenditures offer data services and a place to host data. Most (89%) of these institutions also have a data librarian. And (33%) have a data repository
  • Nearly half (44%) of all universities studied have some type of policy covering research data
    • Half of the policies designated an owner of university research data (67%) 
    • Data is required to be retained for some period of time (52%)
Standalone data policies covered many topics:
  • defined data (61%), 
  • identified a data owner (62%), 
  • state a specific retention time (62%), 
  • identified who can have access to the data (52%), 
  • described disposition of the data when a researcher leaves the university (64%) 
  • designate a data steward (46%) 
Data services are becoming a standard at major research institutions. However, institutional data policies are often difficult to identify and may be confusing for researchers. The trend of libraries having a data policy, offering data services, and having a data librarian will become typical at major research institutions. 

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