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Research Data Management

Introduction

The four primary areas for action with regard to research data management at TWU are:

  1. awareness
  2. education
  3. data handling
  4. infrastructure

Within these broad areas we have identified the following nine subcategories:

  1. infrastructure
  2. awareness
  3. active data management
  4. appraisal and risk management
  5. Data Management Plan creation
  6. Indigenous Data Sovereignty
  7. training
  8. institutional policies and procedures
  9. data deposit and archiving

Activities related to each of these subcategories have been prioritized by the Working Group. The activities identified in the current stage should all be in progress—although they do not all have to be completed—before the activities in the next stage are addressed. If a subcategory is gaining traction there is no need to prevent progress simply because an activity is designated as occurring in a later stage.

All activities require designated personnel. The degree to which personnel have the ability to allocate time to RDM will determine our ability to proceed through the stages in this strategy. If specialized or specific resources are needed for a particular activity, those resources are outlined and understood to be in addition to personnel.

Stage 1

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

TWU recognizes RDM as a research activity that requires specific, designated administration and support, and provides dedicated personnel and a budget allocation to ensure excellent researcher assistance and resource development.

All RDM support is conducted and carried out by staff and faculty as an addition to or small portion of their overall role.

As it stands, the members of the working group do not have the capacity to devote sufficient time to RDM to progress the state of RDM at TWU beyond the first stage of action items.

An administrator with at least partial responsibilities in RDM is hired for the Research Office.

This person, in cooperation with and under the guidance of the RDM Coordinator, moves forward with the action items identified in the Institutional Strategy.

Actions

  • Hire an administrator who will have at least a partial portfolio dedicated to RDM activities

Responsibility

  • Library
  • Office of Research

Resources

  • budgetary allotment

Timeline

Summer 2023

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

TWU recognizes data and data management as valid research outputs and activities in their own right. Datasets and data management plans are accepted as research outputs that can be included in tenure and promotion applications. Acting as a data management champion can be counted toward faculty's Service allocation, similar to sitting on Senate or related committee.

Data and data management are not recognized as research outputs or activities.

There are no official Data Management Champion roles.

Data Management Champion roles are developed and faculty in every discipline are recruited to fill these roles and take part in data management activities across campus.

Actions

  • Develop the role of Data Management Champion

Responsibility

  • Library
  • Office of Research

Timeline

Summer 2023

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

Researchers have TWU-supported access to the tools they need to work with their data We appear to have a slate of tools available to our researchers that is comparable to those offered by other, larger institutions, but there is little to no guidance and communication around the best use of these tools Researchers can access in-depth, detailed, practical guidance for data-handling so they know what they can use and in which circumstances

Actions

  • audit all data-handling tools supported / provided by TWU [conducted Summer 2022]
  • consult with IT and legal counsel
  • create guidance and post online

Responsibility

  • IT
  • Research Office

Timeline

Spring 2023

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

Researchers have access to tools with the appropriate level of security to allow them to work with their data. The University makes available detailed information regarding the privacy and security capacity for all TWU-supported tools.

Tools appropriate for low to medium risk, non-identifiable data are available, but limited guidance is published and easily accessible by researchers; any existing guidance has to be hunted for through the HREB and IT sites

No guidance exists for handling sensitive and identifiable data.

Researchers know what is available to them through TWU and are able to select tools that correspond to their level of security needs

The guidance and outlines are clear cut and allow researchers to follow the directions and be confident that they are handling their data appropriately.

Actions

  • Provide detailed, specific, practicality-focussed guidance for researchers regarding all TWU-supported tools with applications for RDM
  • Outline the security compliance of all TWU-supported RDM tools and make available on the RDM libguide

Responsibility

  • IT
  • Library
  • Research Office

Timeline

Spring 2023

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

There are discipline-specific TWU templates within the Portage Network DMP Assistant. We have not created any TWU and discipline-specific DMP templates We have discipline-specific templates with suggested language, identified areas for modification, and contact information, within the DMP assistant

Actions

Responsibility

  • all departments represented by the Working Group

Timeline

  • links assembled and shared: Spring 2023
  • TWU-specific dummy templates created: Summer 2023

Stage 2

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

All researchers create DMPs for their projects as part of their project set-up. Although researchers are able to use the DMP Assistant to create a DMP that they can edit and export as needed, no TWU researchers have yet registered as doing so.

All researchers submitting grants that require DMPs are able to do so and have access to one-on-one support

The DMPs are reviewed the designated librarian or administrator.

Actions

  • DMP requirements are circulated with funding opportunities in Academic Events
  • The RDM Working Group develops rubrics for evaluating researcher DMPs. These rubrics will support both self- and external-evaluation.

Responsibility

  • Researchers
  • Research Office
  • Library

Timeline

TBD

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

TWU actively promotes Indigenous data sovereignty by providing access to resources and supports for researchers whose projects involve Indigenous partnerships. TWU fully meets and exceeds CARE ad OCAP principles. In all areas of research at TWU researchers aim to incorporate these overarching principles, deepening relationships and growing in respect of Indigenous Knowledge

Researchers seek out appropriate guidance, such as OCAP, when working with Indigenous data, but must do so on their own

There is a small amount of guidance around working with Indigenous Data, provided through the Indigenous Peoples Research Guide

Researchers are aware of and make use of guidance, tools, and templates for working with Indigenous communities, and handling Indigenous data

These resources have been developed in consultation with the University Siya:m and current Indigenous research partners

Actions

  • create a link in the Research page for Indigenous data sovereignty best practices 
  • identify the resources that need to be developed
  • identify potential Indigenous reviewers, based on existing research partnerships

Responsibility

  • all departments represented by the Working Group

Timeline

TBD

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

There is a single-point, designated, online home for RDM at TWU, integrating the services of the Research Office, HREB, and Library to reduce administrative burden on researchers and administrative staff

We currently have the RDM libguide linked from the Library Homepage.

There is no integrated service point. Each division has elements of RDM policy and procedures but there is no consolidation of services.

The online home for RDM will include more localized RDM support and training content for our faculty and researchers.

There will be clear, step-wise guidance to help the researcher navigate the research process from ethics approval through data creation to data deposit.

Actions

  • build the online home for RDM in the same place as the identified decision-making home (see Stage 1: Infrastructure)
  • put links to the online RDM content from IT, Grad Studies, Faculty pages, Research Office, Library

Responsibility

  • all departments represented by the Working Group

Resources

  • support from MarComm

Timeline

TBD

Stage 3

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

Researchers are aware of and actively engaged in RDM best practices Researchers may have heard of RDM but are generally unaware of and not engaging with best practices RDM work (specifically creating and logging DMPs) is as accepted as part of the academic lifecycle as ethics applications

Actions

  • Consult with Research Office and HREB for background on how the HREB established itself on campus; implement any relevant techniques

Responsibility

  • Researchers
  • Grad Studies

Timeline

TBD

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

DMPs are routinely logged by researchers in our institutional repositories. We have no formalized process for assisting researchers with DMP creation or deposit. We will have an established procedure to log DMPs created by researchers in one of our institutional repositories (either Arca or Borealis).

Actions

  • Consult with the Library and Graduate Studies to create a workflow to track and log DMPs related to Tri-Agency-funded grants, similar to publishing theses in Arca

Responsibility

  • Library
  • RO
  • Grad Studies

Timeline

TBD

Stage 4

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

Researchers are able to collaborate in realtime with co-researchers in a secure, TWU-supported online environment

Microsoft 365 provides this collaboration space for researchers working with non-identifiable and low- to medium-risk data

It is unclear whether researchers can work with sensitive and identifiable data in 365

Researchers can access in-depth, detailed, practical guidance for data-handling so they know what they can use and in which circumstances

There are TWU-provided and supported collaborative-research options available that are compatible with data at all levels of risk

Actions

  • audit all data-handling tools supported / provided by TWU
  • consult with IT and legal counsel
  • create guidance and post online
  • determine what, if anything, is needed to provide a fully-risk-compatible collaborative online workspace

Responsibility

  • IT
  • HREB
  • Research Office

Timeline

TBD

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

Researchers use the Sensitive Data Toolkit: Research Data Risk Matrix (Portage resource) to evaluate the level of risk associated with their data Researchers are not aware of this resource Researchers are aware of different security needs for different data and are in the habit of checking with the RDM coordinator to make sure they're doing what they need to do

Actions

  • contact all researchers who handle sensitive data and share the Toolkit

Responsibility

  • Research Office
  • HREB
  • IT

Timeline

TBD

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

Faculty are comfortable including RDM topics in classes, particularly where the classes are traditionally data-focussed Students do not receive focussed RDM training in class

There are concise documents spelling out the RDM policies and procedures for researchers. The more concise and clear the better. These include notes and visual presentations for teaching purposes.  

There is a step-chart from HREB to deposit to guidelines for further use (human participants research), and a chart for scientific data from creation to deposit to future use.

Actions

  • Designate people to develop these resources.

Responsibility

  • Researchers
  • Grad Studies

Timeline

TBD

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

Research supervisors provide explicit RDM training to RA's at the undergraduate and graduate level RA's do not receive explicit or consistent RDM training as part of their RA-ship

There are concise documents spelling out the RDM policies and procedures for researchers. The more concise and clear the better. These include notes and visual presentations for teaching purposes.  

There is a step-chart from HREB to deposit to guidelines for further use (human participants research), and a chart for scientific data from creation to deposit to future use.

Actions

  • Designate people to develop these resources.

Responsibility

  • Researchers
  • Grad Studies

Timeline

TBD

Stage 5

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

TWU provides guidance around the development of data-sharing agreements There is no established guidance regarding data-sharing agreements Researchers are aware of the situations that could require a data-sharing agreement and know who to contact for assistance

Actions

  • Post information on the RDM site about data sharing, and when data-sharing agreements are needed
  • Add a link that directs researchers to the email or ticketting system to request assistance

Responsibility

  • Research Office
  • HREB

Timeline

TBD

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

All researchers make use of appropriate data repositories to house their inactive research data.

All researchers are aware of TWU’s instance of Borealis and of TWUSpace (Arca), and use both as appropriate to house the products and by-products of research

Two TWU-specific data repositories exist (Borealis and Arca) but no data products have been deposited

Graduate students deposit theses into Arca

TWU researchers deposit OA or preprint copies of publications into Arca

TWU researchers publish metadata records for their research data in Borealis

Actions

  • Step-by-step guidance is available for when, what, and how to use Arca and Borealis
  • Create a link in the Research page for RDM that includes direct links to Arca and Borealis
  • Develop video tutorials introducing Borealis and Arca for promotional purposes.
  • Prepare workshop to demonstrate how to deposit research by-products in both platforms.

Responsibility

  • IT
  • Library
  • HREB
  • Research Office

Timeline

TBD

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

There is a framework for monitoring compliance. This includes incentives and steps for corrective action.

We have no way to know who is engaging with RDM or to what degree.

There is no mechanism for accountability or incentives.

Everyone with active grant funding is equipped to create, implement, and monitor RDM activities for their research

TWU has established a process that rewards good RDM activities

RDM grant / agency requirements are clearly outlined on the RDM page, along with checklists for "making sure you've done what you need to do"

Actions

  • Outline RDM requirements (for known grant opportunities and any agency funding as a whole) on the RDM page
  • Lean into granting requirements to incentivize and monitor RDM requirements
  • create "bare minimum" checklists for each grant / agency requirement

Responsibility

  • All departments represented by members of the Working Group

Timeline

TBD

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

We have an overarching RDM policy, supported by procedures and best-practice guidelines. No specific RDM policies or procedures exist. Existing policies and procedures that deal with data are:
  • Intellectual Property
  • Open Access Policy
  • IT Backup Policies
Having implemented the Institutional Strategy, we are developing practical guidance for researchers. These guidelines will become procedures, which will inform the development of policy.

Actions

  • Implement the "Stage1" elements of the Institutional Strategy
  • Make sure that all internal RDM-related documents are held in a collaborative space and are well-organized

Responsibility

  • All departments represented by the Working Group

Timeline

TBD

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

We have a slate of RDM workshops (both synchronous and asynchronous) that we use for targeted delivery to faculty and students, including "RDM 101"; "DMPs and me"; discipline-specific RDM; data storage, curation, and preservation; and issues of privacy, ethics, and IP We have not yet established institutional training for RDM.

We have a required RDM module, similar to the TCPS2 training for the HREB, that all researchers are required to complete in order to gain access to grant funding

We have assembled a repository of external training resources that are relevant to TWU researchers' needs and are working on developing our own

Actions

  • Designate people to develop and compile these resources.

Responsibility

  • Research Office
  • Library
  • IT

Timeline

TBD

Ideal State

Current State

"Near Future" State

All graduate students are required to take a research methods course, which includes RDM Graduate students doing human-participant research take a research methods course, but this does not explicitly include RDM Graduate students receive RDM training during one of their required, introductory classes.

Actions

  • Determine how such training can be mandated and spell out what needs to be included.
  • Create a step-chart from HREB to deposit to guidelines for further use (human participants research), and a chart for scientific data from creation to deposit to future use.

Responsibility

  • Researchers
  • Grad Studies

Timeline

TBD