Abstract

Research data management (RDM) is an emergent discipline which is increasingly receiving attention from universities, funding agencies and academic publishers. While data management (DM) benefits from a large corpus of data governance and management frameworks adapted to industry, its academic counterpart RDM still struggles at identifying, organizing and implement-ing the main functions of RDM. In this study we explore the status of research data management at two research organizations in the Netherlands. We identify the main roles and tasks involved in research data governance, services and research. We show that, while the application of the DAMA-DMBOK functions and RDM structures are overlapping, RDM is coping with fundamen-tally different organizational structures and roles than the roles and tasks listed in professional DM frameworks. As RDM is developed to make science more efficient and reliable, it is ques-tionable whether its current structure is effective. Based on interviews with data managers, re-searchers and librarians we identified several issues. For instance, at the moment, researchers are responsible for tasks that depend on DM expertise that they, generally, do not possess. At the same time, research data governance as currently implemented fails to capture the com-plexity of (professional) data management. Similarly, research data support is not well integrat-ed with the wide diversity of research projects. If not addressed, these issues may impede any progress towards open, efficient and reliable science.

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