January 18, 2022

Research Data Management (RDM): “Sourcing and Scaling University RDM Services” Published by OCLC Research (Fourth and Final Report in Series)

The fourth and final in the OCLC Research “Realities of Research Data Management” series is now available..


“Sourcing and Scaling University RDM Services” Published by OCLC Research (Part Four in The Realities of Research Data)


Rebecca Bryant
OCLC Research

Brian Lavoie
OCLC Research

Constance Malpas
OCLC Research


OCLC Research
ISBN: 978-1-55653-043-2
DOI: 10.25333/C3QW7M

Description and Highlights

2018-04-30_19-53-57Another key facet of RDM capacity acquisition is determining where that capacity will be sourced: will it be built and maintained internally, or will it be acquired from an external provider? Similarly, the question of scale must be addressed: should RDM solutions be deployed as institution-scale services, or should they be organized at scales above the institution?

This final report of the series examines the sourcing and scaling choices made by the four research universities regarding their acquisition of RDM capacity. What variables are being maximized in these decisions: efficiency/cost reduction? Reliability/trust? The choices that individual institutions make with respect to sourcing and scaling likely depend on a host of factors, including local staffing and infrastructure, availability of cooperatively sourced or nationally provisioned services and willingness to pay for commercially sourced solutions.

While each of the four case studies partners pursued a different strategy, there are trends that span the institutions, including:

  • curation services are the most likely to be externalized
  • education and expertise services are largely local in scale . . . so far
  • one size does not fit all: sourcing and scaling RDM changes to fit institutional needs

Direct to Full Text Report
30 pages; PDF.

Direct to Additional Info and Other Reports in the”Realities of Research Data Management” Series

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.