Many hands make new opportunities: Institutional collaborations in supporting data stewardship



Data stewardship requires a confluence of knowledge on how to properly secure, backup, version, automate, share, and otherwise care for one's data. Coordinating resources to support good data stewardship in a research university is especially challenging, as responsibilities for providing support and infrastructure are often distributed across many offices and people whose varying motivations and perspectives on data stewardship may conflict. For example, one office may be tasked with reducing university operating costs while another is focused on scaling up costly, large-scale research; similarly, regulatory offices may focus on securing and protecting human participant data, while others may be helping researchers to make more of that data available for reuse and reproducibility. When it comes to the broad scope of data support, collaboration is key. 


This presentation will describe a collaboration at the University of Minnesota (USA) that spans Libraries, Information Technology, the Office of the Vice President for Research, and various research support offices to inform and shape university cyberinfrastructure policy and service decisions. As an institutional-wide “Research Cyberinfrastructure Champions" network bringing together these groups at our university, this initiative can more effectively address institutional data stewardship than any one unit or department. Several accomplishments of this group will be discussed including: 1) the creation of a storage selection tool, which presents features of over a dozen IT storage offerings in an easy-to-navigate interface, providing information about the cost, capacity, backup, and workflow considerations of each; 2) a storage restructuring initiative to shape the development, promotion, and implementation of campus storage, using language, policies, and functionality that serves researchers; 3) the update of the University’s Research Data Management policy which went into effect in 2015. We will discuss these projects, our structure and evolution, as well as the lessons learned and future outlook of this collaboration. 
Date made available2022

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