In 2015, the Albertsons Library’s Research Data Management Group established a 2-year strategic agenda which focused on increasing library service capacity, establishing partnerships with other campus stakeholders, and creating the technical infrastructure needed to ensure proper management of university research data assets. To inform this work during the next two year period, the group conducted an environmental scan of campus data management needs and activities. The survey was also designed to help other university administrators and campus partners understand the current state of research data, identify unmet needs, and highlight opportunities for increasing institutional capacity.
In general, Boise State has made good progress in the area of developing the technological infrastructure needed to manage research data. The efforts of the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and elements of the Library’s Research Data Management Group were seen as having made very positive contributions in this area. However, researcher knowledge and use of these services was perceived as very limited. Throughout the survey responses and confirmed through the supplemental research by the library group, it was determined that individual researchers had primary responsibility for all research activities, grant management tasks, and oversight for any technological resources needed. Although some researchers work in groups or have access to high quality support staff, the workload burden many researchers face is significant and limits their ability to properly manage their research outputs. These stressors are heightened by a growing expectation from federal funders and journal publishers that research data be made publicly available, requiring significate curation and management work.
To continue to develop Boise State’s research data infrastructure it is recommended that efforts are made to inform and help researchers take advantage of existing services, policies, and support staff when working with and managing research data. This includes increased interdepartmental awareness of and referral to appropriate units when researcher needs fall outside of an individual service provider’s specific area. Additionally, service providers should identify issues of scalability or potential service gaps and determine the resources needed for continued growth. The university can then build upon existing successes in the area of technological and data curation infrastructure by allocating needed funding and staff resources.
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Armstrong, Michelle and Grevatt, Heather, "2017 Boise State Research Data Environmental Scan Report" (2017). Data Management Services. Paper 5.