Have you grown weary of sifting through the countless bits of information about how to manage research data? Well, not to worry because, SURA (Southeastern Universities Research Association) has recently launched an institutional tool for Research Data Management (RDM), developed by a working group formed with the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL). The working group brings together CIOs and library professionals from SURA member institutions to explore collaborations for improving their ability to manage the rapidly growing volume of research data.
The 5 page document, entitled the “Step-By-Step Guide to Data Management” is succinct, to the point, and provides links to all relevant outside sources. The document was developed as a result of a survey of SURA membership to identify goals and projects for improving the management of institutional data. The authors took their inspiration from the DataONE Best Practices Primer and while it breaks no new ground, it does provide a clear and easy to digest picture of current trends and best practices in data management at universities. To truly ensure the accessibility of data it is important to reach a consensus on best practices and methods for optimum accessibility in the future.
Of course it comes as no surprise that the university library is highlighted as resource not to be overlooked. As one fellow blogger put it, “while this may not come as a shock from a group that is half comprised of Research Library professionals, towering or expansive university libraries often have a significant amount of data to handle. Creating a database that can be searched hundreds of different ways of the myriad titles that exist is no small data feat.” The argument can be made, and has been multiple times, that libraries are uniquely suited to play a pivotal role in the research data management process. Now we have one more resource to offer our patrons to assist them in managing all that sexy data.