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Data Management and Curation

This page highlights resources for IASSIST members on the topics of good practice, standards, and activity in Data Management and Curation. Explore all the resources or limit the view to a particular topic by clicking on a tag name.

The Data Information Literacy (DIL) Case Studies Directory

The Data Information Literacy (DIL) Case Studies Directory is a repository of teaching cases and material on research data management. DIL case studies are available for re-use under a CC-BY license and information on how to cite a case study is provided. 

Recent Case Studies include:

Engineering / Faculty / Sapp Nelson / Purdue University / 2015
Megan R. Sapp Nelson

Electrical and Computer Engineering/ Undergraduates/ Carlson & SappNelson/ Purdue University/ 2012
Jake Carlson and Megan R. Sapp Nelson

Agriculture and Biological Engineering/ Graduate Students/ Bracke & Fosmire/ Purdue University/ 2012
Marianne S. Bracke and Michael Fosmire

Natural Resources / Graduate Students / Wright & Andrews / Cornell University / 2013
Sarah J. Wright and Camille Andrews

Civil Engineering/ Graduate Students/ Johnston & Jeffryes/ University of Minnesota/ 2012
Lisa Johnston and Jon Jeffryes

Ecology/ Graduate Students/ Westra & Walton/ University of Oregon/ 2012
Brian Westra and Dean Walton

Agriculture/ Graduate Students/ Carlson & Bracke/ Purdue University/ 2014
Jake Carlson and Marianne S. Bracke


"The DIL Directory welcomes submissions of learning materials from DIL programs developed by librarians, archivists or other information professionals. Submissions will be reviewed by the editors of the directory and should include a brief description of the program. If accepted, the case study is assigned a DOI to enable citation as a part of the publication process. More information about submitting materials for publication can be found in the "Policies" section. See the Aims and Scope for a complete coverage of the journal."

DMP Assistant: bilingual tool for preparing data management plans (DMPs)

DMP Assistant is a bilingual tool for preparing data management plans (DMPs). The tool follows best practices in data stewardship and walks researchers step-by-step through key questions about data management.

DMP Assistant was adapted from the (UK) Digital Curation Centre’s DMPOnline tool and is hosted at the University of Alberta. The French user interface was produced with support from the Université de Montréal Library. It is freely available to all researchers in Canada and provides specialized guidance to help researchers utilize the tool to develop their plan. It also offers the option of fulfilling DMP requirements of specific funders (listed below) or using templates from other organizations.

  • Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)
  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)

DataQ: A collaborative platform for answering research data questions in academic libraries

DataQ is a collaborative platform for the community to use to ask and answer questions related to research data support in academic libraries. Library staff from any institution may submit questions on research data topics to the DataQ website, where questions are reviewed by an Editorial Team of experts with additional support from an active pool of Project Volunteers. Answers to these questions, from both the community and the Editorial Team, are posted to the DataQ website and include links to resources and tools, best practices, and practical approaches to working with researchers to address specific research data issues. 

LIBER: Research Data Management Case Studies

In June 2014, the Scholarly Communication and Research Infrastructures Steering Committee of Association of European Rsearch Libraries (LIBER) published 11 case studies on Research Data Management. The case studies are hosted by or with strong involvement of libraries in research data management. These studies describe policies and strategies that pave the way for the creation, institutional integration and the running of support services and underlying infrastructures. In addition, challenges and lessons learned are described, and ways-forward outlined.

University of British Columbia Library: Research Data Management (RDM) Website

University of British Columbia Library release their Research Data Management (RDM) website at

The website is designed to be service-oriented. Four sections, Learn; Plan; Share and Find guide users to the RDM advice and systems solutions that meet their current needs. The Learn section includes a DataGuide (CC BY 3.0) - a quick standalone guide developed to get people started on Research Data Management, which could be re-used and adapted. 

The website also features the library's current systems offerings for managing research data, including the UBC instance of Dataverse ( and UBC Library's digital preservation system, cIRcle.

e-Science Portal for New England Librarians: Research Data Management Links

e-Science Portal for New England Librarians has been gathering comprehensive resources links to keep librarians updated about e-Science issues and library's new roles and functions. There is a "Data Management" section of the portal gathering publications, guides, tools, and other resources falling under the following general data management topics:


New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum

The New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum (NECDMC) is an instructional tool for teaching data management best practices to undergraduates, graduate students, and researchers in the health sciences, sciences, and engineering disciplines. Each of the curriculum’s seven online instructional modules aligns with the National Science Foundation’s data management plan recommendations and addresses universal data management challenges. Included in the curriculum is a collection of actual research cases that provides a discipline specific context to the content of the instructional modules. These cases come from a range of research settings such as clinical research, biomedical labs, an engineering project, and a qualitative behavioral health study. Additional research cases will be added to the collection on an ongoing basis. Each of the modules can be taught as a stand-alone class or as part of a series of classes. Instructors are welcome to customize the content of the instructional modules to meet the learning needs of their students and the policies and resources at their institutions.

Built upon the Frameworks of a Data Management Curriculum developed by the Lamar Soutter Library and the George C. Gordon Library at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the NECDMC is designed to address present and future researchers’ data management learning needs.

Data Information Literacy (DIL) Project Website

The Purdue University Libraries, partnered with the libraries of the University of Minnesota, the University of Oregon and Cornell University, led this project to help raise awareness of research data management and curation issues among rresearchers, through developing and implementing data information literacy (DIL) instruction programs for graduate students. The website of the project has gathered updated information and development of the researcher interview instruments, the data management training curriculum, as well as research publications result from the project. 

ICPSR’s Data Management and Curation Guide

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) website has a new section devoted to Data Management and Curation, which provides a general guide on research data quality, preservation, access, confidentiality, and citation, and also explains how ICPSR, as a social science research data archive, is working hard to address all these issues. There is also a Tools & Services section compiling recommended applications that could help researchers deal with data confidentiality, restricted-use data, data processing, and dissemination.

In January 2014, ACRL/Numeric and Spatial Data Interest Group invited ICPSR’s Director of Curation Services, Jared Lyle, to offer a webinar for data librarians on the subject of social science data management and curation. The slides and recording of the webinar are available for viewing now.

Starting the Conversation: University-wide Research Data Management Policy | Featuring IASSISTers!

Starting the Conversation: University-wide Research Data Management Policy
An OCLC Research Report by: Ricky Erway, OCLC Research

Key highlights:

  • The benefits of funder-required data management planning should apply to all research data 
  • Research and Compliance Offices, IT, Academic units, the Library, and Researchers should be involved in setting policy
  • An entrepreneurial person may need to get things going—why not the library director?

Starting the Conversation: University-wide Research Data Management Policy is a call for action that summarizes the benefits of systemic data management planning and identifies the stakeholders and their concerns. It also suggests that the library proactively initiate a conversation among these stakeholders to get buy-in for a high-level, responsible data planning and management policy that is proactive, rather than reactive, and is also supported and sustainable.

The Stakeholders identified in the report include:

  • The University
  • The Office of Research
  • The Research Compliance Office
  • The Information Technology Department
  • The Researchers
  • The Academic Units
  • The Library

The intended audience for this call for action is library directors, not because they alone can make this happen, but to encourage them to initiate the conversation. The bulk of the document advocates for the library director to initiate a conversation among the stakeholders and addresses the various topics that should be discussed. A checklist of issues is also provided to help the discussion result in a supportable and sustainable policy.

Suggested elements of the conversation include:

  • Who owns the data?
  • What Requirements are Imposed By Others?
  • Which Data Should Be Retained?
  • For How Long Should Data Be Maintained?
  • How Should Digital Data Be Preserved?
  • Are there Ethical Considerations?
  • How are Data Accessed?
  • How Open Should the Data Be?
  • How Will Costs Be Managed?
  • What are the Alternatives to Local Data Management?

Library directors are invested not only because their libraries may be recipients of data in need of curation and of requests for guidance, but more importantly because library staff have significant skills and experience to contribute to the discussion. This is an opportunity for the library director to play an entrepreneurial role in furthering the mission of the larger enterprise.

This report was made possible by the contributions and support of the following members of the OCLC Research Library Partnership Data Curation Policy Working Group whose broad range of experience and perspectives was invaluable:

  • Dan Tsang, chair — University of California, Irvine
  • Anna Clements — University of St. Andrews
  • Joy Davidson — DCC, University of Glasgow
  • Mike Furlough — Pennsylvania State University
  • Amy Nurnberger — Columbia University
  • Sally Rumsey — University of Oxford
  • Anna Shadbolt — University of Melbourne
  • Claire Stewart — Northwestern University
  • Beth Warner — Ohio State University
  • Perry Willett — California Digital Library

This work is an output of our Role of Libraries in Data Curation activity, which falls under our work agenda theme of Advancing the Research Mission.

  • IASSIST Quarterly

    Publications Special issue: A pioneer data librarian
    Welcome to the special volume of the IASSIST Quarterly (IQ (37):1-4, 2013). This special issue started as exchange of ideas between Libbie Stephenson and Margaret Adams to collect


  • Resources


    A space for IASSIST members to share professional resources useful to them in their daily work. Also the IASSIST Jobs Repository for an archive of data-related position descriptions. more...

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