March 16, 2021 – The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and its Portage Network welcome the release of the Government of Canada’s new Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy. The policy aims to support Canadian research excellence by promoting sound data management and data stewardship, and was developed by 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) in consultation with stakeholders.
Research data management (RDM) is necessary at all stages of the research project lifecycle, from design and inception to completion and beyond. Given growing awareness of the importance of data in addressing key societal issues, RDM has emerged as a critical element in research and scholarship across disciplines and borders. A strong culture of data management benefits researchers, funders, institutions, and society. It supports discovery and fuels innovation. To advance this culture change, the Tri-Agency RDM Policy includes requirements for institutional research data management strategies, data management plans, and data deposit.
The academic library community was actively engaged throughout the policy development process. In 2015, CARL submitted a response to the Draft Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management, with recommendations on research plans, metadata, sensitive data, and research data infrastructure providers. In 2018, Portage submitted a Draft Policy Response, informed by months of cross-country stakeholder engagement in close partnership with Canada’s federal granting agencies. Portage also convened three town hall meetings in July 2018 to gather further stakeholder feedback. Representatives from Canada’s federal granting agencies and Portage worked collaboratively to discuss and refine policy requirements and how Portage could help pave the way for the policy’s success.
Concurrently, Portage partnered with others to develop tools and capacity to support each of the three policy pillars. These include an Institutional RDM Strategy Template, an online DMP planning tool, and multi-disciplinary repository options to support data deposit. In addition, Portage has developed and delivered RDM training and promoted RDM best practices across Canada.
“Portage fully endorses the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy’s directions as we work with stakeholders locally, nationally, and internationally to advance RDM best practices and develop supporting services and infrastructure.”
– Jeff Moon, Portage Director
The policy will be implemented incrementally through ongoing consultations with the research data management community. More information on the policy is available on the Government of Canada’s website.
Funding in support of the Portage Network’s stewardship of research data within Canada is administered through the New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO).
About CARL: CARL is the voice of Canada’s research libraries. Our members include Canada’s 29 largest university libraries and two federal institutions. CARL enhances its members’ capacity to advance research and higher education; promotes effective and sustainable knowledge creation, dissemination, and preservation; and advocates for public policy that enables broad access to scholarly information.
About Portage: Portage was launched by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) in 2015 to contribute to the shared stewardship of research data and to address specific gaps in national research data management (RDM) infrastructure in Canada. Initiated as a library-based network, Portage now collaborates with a broad range of stakeholders and partners locally, nationally, and internationally to build capacity and to develop services and infrastructure. Over 160 experts from 60 institutions across Canada actively participate in Portage committees and infrastructure projects, with coordination provided by a national secretariat.
Executive Director, CARL
Director, Portage Network