Realities of Academic Data Sharing (RADS) Initiative: Research Update #2—Activities for Making Research Data Publicly Accessible – Association of Research Libraries

“Public access to research data is critical to advancing science and solving real world problems. The Realities of Academic Data Sharing (RADS) Initiative project team has spent considerable time this year developing surveys designed for campus administrators and funded researchers, inquiring into public-access research data management and sharing (DMS) activities and their costs. Public-access DMS activities are often distributed across institutional departments and units and, as such, the expenditures to support these activities are rarely captured holistically within one institution and may not even be captured at the unit or department level. The goal of surveying campus administrators and funded researchers is twofold: to determine where, within the institution, these activities are occurring, and to understand the costs to the institution to support them. Defining public-access DMS activities further provides a common framework for gathering expenses for the staffing, services, and infrastructure of these activities, which then provides a more comprehensive view of the overall cost of making research data publicly accessible.

Although the RADS studies focus on data management practices over the last decade, the project team recognizes that many of these activities may be helpful for those in the higher education community currently defining institutional processes for supporting public access to research data. Identifying necessary services, infrastructure, and staffing, and ways in which to categorize expenses and budgeting for open access to research data, is timely due to the 2023 NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy and the revised federal agency policies that will result from the 2022 OSTP Nelson memo.

The RADS project team and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) have released a report, Public Access Data Management and Sharing Activities for Academic Administration and Researchers, that defines the data management and sharing activities used in our research. We hope that the research community will provide feedback around these activities, as this report presents version 1 of the RADS public access DMS activities. Additional versions will be released in response to community feedback and best practices as more institutions and agencies implement DMS policies in the coming year….”