In March 2021, Canada’s federal granting agencies — the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) — launched the Tri-Agency Research Data Management (RDM) Policy . The policy includes requirements related to institutional research data management (RDM) strategies, data management plans (DMPs), and data deposit. To parallel the requirements of the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy, the institution recognizes the important roles that data management plans and data deposit options play in supporting researchers with their efforts to incorporate research data management into their research practice at all stages of the research project lifecycle.
What is research data management and how does it support the work of researchers ?
Research data management (RDM) provides guidelines on the storage, access, and preservation of research data throughout a research project. It covers the entire research project lifecycle, from drafting the research plan, to implementing it and beyond. RDM outlines terms regarding the subsequent deposit of the data with a data repository for sharing long-term management and preservation.
Engagement with research data management results in a number of benefits such as:
- The enhancement of research data sharing and collaboration across geographic and disciplinary boundaries
- An improved set of means to make research more accessible to the general public
- The innovative re-use of preserved data sets
- The increased impact and global visibility of research
- The provision of important resources for education and training
- An increase in the transparency of research methods
- A reduction in research duplication [2, 3]
Data management planning
A data management plan (DMP) is a living document, typically associated with an individual research project or program that consists of the practices, processes and strategies that pertain to a set of specified topics related to data management and curation. DMPs should be modified throughout the course of a research project to reflect changes in project design, methods, or other considerations. DMPs guide researchers in articulating their plans for managing data but they do not necessarily compel researchers to manage data differently.
In June 2022, the Tri-Agencies announced that the first set of grants requiring Data Management Plans (DMPs) would be:
- Network Grants in Skin Health and Muscular Dystrophy (Anticipated launch fall 2022 or early winter 2023)
- Virtual Care/Digital Health Team Grants (Anticipated launch fall 2022 or early winter 2023)
- Data Science for Equity (Anticipated launch fall 2022 or early winter 2023)
- Subatomic Physics Discovery Grants – Individual and Project (Anticipated launch summer 2023)
- Partnership Grants Stage 2 (Anticipated launch summer 2023)
Further details on expectations for DMPs and how they will be treated in the adjudication process will be revealed once the grants are launched. Data Management Plans are also required for International Development Research Center grants and several other smaller competitions.
Need support with data management planning? Consult York University Libraries’ research data management website or contact the libraries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Institutional RDM Strategy
The Open Access Open Data Steering Committee is currently engaged in a broad community consultation process with York University stakeholders in order to produce a draft institutional RDM strategy by late 2022.
The Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy indicates that grant recipients will be required to deposit data supporting research conclusions in a digital repository by time of publication, “where ethical, cultural, legal and commercial requirements allow, and in accordance with the FAIR principles and the standards of their disciplines.” The Tri-Agencies have indicated that the deposit requirement will be introduced after institutional RDM strategies have been reviewed and in accordance with the readiness of the Canadian research community.
Need support with evaluating data deposit options? Consult York University Libraries’ research data management website or contact the libraries at email@example.com.
 Government of Canada. Research Data Management. https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/063.nsf/eng/h_547652FB.html
 UCLA Library. Data Management for Humanities. https://guides.library.ucla.edu/data-management-humanities.
 Digital Research Alliance of Canada. Comprehensive Brief on Research Data Management Policies. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4552680