rusq: Vol. 54 Issue 1: p. 54
Sources: Delivering Research Data Management Services: Fundamentals of Good Practice
Rachel Hamelers

Reference Librarian and Math and Science Subject Specialist, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania

A how-to guide for large research institutions, Delivering Research Data Management Services: Fundamentals of Good Practice gives readers a short history of the proliferation of research data and then takes the reader through the fundamentals of creating and administering a sustainable research data management (RDM) service.

Constructing and managing a successful RDM service requires commitment and participation from various institutional players and constituencies. Delivering Research Data Management Services provides very clear reasoning on why institutions need a well-designed and well-articulated RDM plan. For instance, various government and funding agencies now require researchers to include a research data plan in grant applications. In addition, well-preserved and accessible data offers many potential benefits to future research. The book also discusses how different constituencies must work together and what special interests each may bring to the planning process.

Creating a research data plan with input from university management, support services, and researchers may be a complex process, but, according to the authors, it can be accomplished with thoughtful planning and guidance.

The book includes helpful charts and graphs to illustrate concepts visually as well as definitions of common terminology. Many of the illustrations would be particularly helpful for use during planning meetings. Chapters focus on the state of research data management, various approaches to RDM, sustainability, infrastructure, roles, and services.

Much of the latter half of the book is devoted to a variety of approaches to RDM through case studies from institutions in several countries. These case studies include instances where the university’s library took a leading role, a case of a national research data management service, and several other models. The case studies are especially insightful because they are written by individuals from each institution involved in the creation of the RDM system discussed.

The types of data discussed are diverse, and the needs of researchers and institutions are equally varied.

Delivering Research Data Management Services: Fundamentals of Good Practice breaks down the preparation and implementation process into accessible steps and presents clear reasoning for why planning is important. The first chapters of the book are based on examples and policy from the United Kingdom, but the structure of the plans presented could be applied to the United States or other countries. Many of the citations in the chapters are only web addresses that may shift over time; including the titles of the webpages might be useful for future access.

Delivering Research Data Management Services: Fundamentals of Good Practice will be a helpful resource for institutions, administrators, and researchers trying to plan a cohesive and coherent research data management service. It will also serve as useful background reading for those simply interested in e-Science and big research data. Recommended for academic libraries at large research institutions.

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