Canadian Universities are developing a statement of principles on research data management developed by Research Data Canada, along with university administrators across Canada.
The Federal Government has increased support and interest for research data management and sharing through open government and open science initiatives. Canada's new draft plan on open government 2016-18 contains a section on Open Science, which outlines the development plan that will include actions to develop an open access policy for scientific research funded through grants and contributions, as well as policies on digital data management for research funded through Granting Councils.
The Tri Agencies currently have a Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management. They also have a Draft Policy on Data Management Plans, which will be implemented in the near future. CBU aims to support researchers by providing guidance and resources at all stages of the research data management lifecycle.
1. The Importance of Data for Research:
Canadian universities recognize the central role of data in 21st century research. Data are both the product of research and a foundation for future research. The appropriate management of research data and facilitating appropriate access to that data are foundations of modern scholarship and scientific discovery.
2. National and International Collaboration:
Canadian universities will aim to meet RDM challenges and opportunities collaboratively and in alignment with international activities in RDM, including the development and setting of standards such that Canadian research data are interoperable with those of global research partners.
Research data generated by publicly-supported research are a public good, produced in the public interest, and will normally be made openly available in a timely and responsible manner with as few restrictions as possible. Rights to publicly supported research data will not normally be assigned to others without ensuring that the data remain accessible and available for reuse.
4. Ethical, Legal, and Privacy Issues:
Canadian universities recognize that there are privacy considerations, legal concerns, ethical issues, and commercial interests reflected in contractual requirements that may constrain the release of research data. Institutional policies will be developed to accommodate these complexities.
5. Privileged Use:
Those who conduct research are entitled to a limited period of privileged use of the data they have collected and generated, for example to enable them to publish the results of their research. Such limited periods may vary in length depending upon the academic discipline involved.
6. Recognition of Intellectual Contributions:
Institutional policies and reward systems will recognize the intellectual contributions of researchers who generate, preserve, and share research data. Users of already generated research data are obliged to acknowledge the source of their data and abide by the terms and conditions under which they are accessed.
7. A Public Trust:
As research data constitute a public good, appropriate management of such data constitutes a public trust. It is recognized that while RDM may be the primary responsibility of the principal investigator during the life of the research project, long term preservation is only possible with appropriate funding from funding agencies and governments. Resources will be commensurate with the original support provided to the research, including training and expertise.
8. Data Management Plans:
Institutional and project-specific data management plans typically follow recognized, relevant international standards and community best practices. Such plans should recognize that data may be of potential long-term value, sometimes for purposes distinct from those for which the data were created, and will require plans and resources for preservation and access. Decisions about the length of time for data preservation should be based on policies which recognize the potential long-term value of research data.
9. Metadata and Discoverability:
Metadata will normally be recorded and made openly available in an internationally recognized standard. This will enable research data to be discoverable and effectively re-used by others. Published results will include information on how to access the data on which the results are based. If the data cannot be or is not yet available (see principles 4 and 5), the metadata may be published in order to alert potential users to the existence of such data.
10. Multilingual Access:
Canadian scholars and institutions may employ tools for data management in either French or English, ideally both.
Research Data: Data that are used as primary sources to support technical or scientific enquiry, research, scholarship, or artistic activity, and that are used as evidence in the research process and/or are commonly accepted in the research community as necessary to validate research findings and results.
Research Data Management – Data Management refers to the storage, access and preservation of data produced from a given investigation. Data management practices cover the entire lifecycle of the data, from planning the investigation to conducting it, and from backing up data as it is created and used to long term preservation of data deliverables after the research investigation has concluded.