May 24, 2022

OCLC Research Releases New Report on “Laying the Foundation For Research Data Management”

The following report was written by Ricky Erway, Laurence Horton, Amy Nurnberger, Reid Otsuji, and Amy Rushing.

From OCLC Research:

2016-04-13_16-30-35Establishing a research data management (RDM) program has become a pressing imperative for many research libraries, but relatively few have a program in place. The challenges are many; these include learning about RDM principles and issues, assessing the local institution’s greatest needs, selecting and implementing a repository environment, working with researchers to convey the importance of this work, preparing training materials, building expertise among library staff, and establishing metadata guidelines.

Building Blocks offers detailed guidance at two levels: Part 1, Laying the Foundation, is directed at institutions that have yet to begin implementation, with the objective of guiding them through the steps necessary to establish a firm, supportive foundation on which to build. Part 2, Building Up and Out, is for those who are somewhat further along and ready to create the structure of a full RDM program.

In addition to guiding readers through the full array of stages in building a program, Building Blocks includes more than 100 citations to resources that implementers can learn from and leverage.

Report Highlights

Public funding agencies increasingly are requiring that research grant recipients make their data publicly accessible, which exposes valuable university assets.

The library is well situated to manage activities such as outreach, data deposit, metadata creation, and preservation; some university libraries are directed to do so, while other proactively offer their services.

Libraries that are beginning to design a program need foundational guidance in areas such as needs assessment, outreach and training for researchers and library staff, preparation of data management plans, and legal issues.

Libraries that have an active program in place need more detailed guidance, which comprises Part 2 of Building Blocks.

The published literature in this area is already extensive, and Building Blocks includes more than 100 citations to material addressing all aspects of data management planning.

Direct to Full Text Report (24 pages; PDF)

Related Report

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.