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LEARN Project Toolkit of Best Practice for Research Data Management

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The LEARN Project has released its free Toolkit of Best Practice for Research Data Management:
[…]  Research data is the new currency of the digital age. From sonnets to statistics, and genes to geodata, the amount of material being created and stored is growing exponentially. 
For research performing organisations, this deluge of data presents many challenges in areas such as policy and skills development, training, costs and governance. The LEARN Toolkit of Best Practice for Research Data Management is designed to help institutions address these challenges.
The Toolkit expands on the issues outlined in the LERU Roadmap for Research Data (2013). It is nearly 200 pages long, and includes:
  • 23 Best-Practice Case Studies from institutions around the world, drawn from issues in the original LERU Roadmap;
  • 8 Main Sections, on topics such as Policy and Leadership, Open Data, Advocacy and Costs;
  • One Model RDM Policy, produced by the University of Vienna and accompanied by guidance and an overview of 20 RDM policies across Europe;
  • An Executive Briefing in six languages, aimed at senior institutional decision makers.

The toolkit includes a chapter from CODATA President, Professor Geoffrey Boulton on ‘Why Open Data?’ which is available at


[…] Several years ago, rigorous data management was seen by many universities merely as a cost, as an “unfunded mandate”. Increasing numbers of universities now see open data as a necessary part of their future and plan to position themselves to exploit the opportunities that it offers. Some of the essential principles of good research data management have now been established as a result of hard won experience many of which are shared in this volume. The “hard” infrastructure of high performance computing or cloud technologies and the software tools needed to acquire and manipulate data in these settings are only part of the problem. Much more problematic is the “soft” infrastructure of national policies, institutional relationships and practices, and incentives and capacities of individuals. For although science is an international enterprise, it is done within national systems of priorities, institutional roles and cultural practices, such that university policies and practices need to accommodate to their national environment.

The final conference for the LEARN Project ‘Managing the Data Deluge: roles and responsibilities for your institution’ takes place today (Friday 5 May 2017) in London.  CODATA Executive Director, Simon Hodson, is participating in one of the panel discussions: