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New Report Offers Recommendations for Public Access to Research Data

September 28, 2020

APLU joined the Association of Research Libraries, the California Digital Library, and the Association of American Universities in releasing a new report with recommendations for data practices supporting an open research ecosystem. The report, Implementing Effective Data Practices: Stakeholder Recommendations for Collaborative Research Support, includes insights from library, research, and scientific experts. 

The report is based on information and insights gleaned during a December 2019 conference exploring effective implementation of National Science Foundation data practices. It focuses on recommendations for research institutions and also provides guidance for publishers, tool builders, and professional associations.  

Five key takeaways in the conference report: 

  • Center the researcher by providing tools, education, and services that are built around data management practices that accommodate the scholarly workflow.  
  • Create closer integration of library and scientific communities, including researchers, institutional offices of research, research computing, and disciplinary repositories.  
  • Provide sustaining support for the open Persistent Identifier (PID) infrastructure that is a core community asset and essential piece of scholarly infrastructure. Beyond adoption and use of PIDs, organizations that sustain identifier registries need the support of the research community.  
  • Unbundle the Data Management Plan (DMP), because the DMP as currently understood may be overloaded with too many expectations (for example, simultaneously a tool within the lab, among campus resource units, and with repositories and funding agencies). Unbundling may allow for different parts of a DMP to serve distinct and specific purposes.  
  • Unlock discovery by connecting PIDs across repositories to assemble diverse data to answer new questions, advance scholarship, and accelerate adoption by researchers.  

APLU and AAU expect to release an Institutional Guide to Accelerating Public Access to Research Data in spring 2021 with additional recommendations. Learn more about this Guide and past reports on public access to research data here

Five recommended core PIDs 
The report also identified five core PIDs that are fundamental and foundational to an open data ecosystem. Using these PIDs will ensure that basic metadata about research is standardized, networked, and discoverable in scholarly infrastructure:   

  • Digital object identifiers (DOIs) to identify research data, as well as publications and other outputs  
  • Open Researcher and Contributor (ORCID) iDs to identify researchers  
  • Research Organization Registry (ROR) IDs to identify research organization affiliations   
  • Crossref Funder Registry IDs to identifier research funders   
  • Crossref Grant IDs to identify grants and other types of research awards  

The report is intended to encourage collaboration and conversation among a wide range of stakeholders in the research enterprise by showcasing how collaborative processes help with implementing PIDs and machine-actionable DMPs (maDMPs) in ways that can advance public access to research.  

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1945938. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.  

  • Research, Science & Technology

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