Canadian data gaps

Added by Stephane Goldstein on 30 January 2009 15:09

The Canadian Research Data Strategy Working Group has just produced a gap analysis of research data stewardship in Canada. The study is founded on the definition of an ‘ideal state’ across a range of indicators; it then charts how far practice is removed from this ideal. The identified gaps make for sobering reading, because the report suggests that these are significant across every one of the indicators, and they are particularly large in areas such as funding, definition of roles and responsibilities, developing an infrastructure of data repositories, skills and training, reward and recognition systems, and preservation. Where have we heard this before?

The report goes to list the barriers which are hindering moves towards the ‘ideal state’. These are numerous, and many of them sound very familiar to UK ears. The problems associated with reward and recognition in particular caught my eye: "Reward systems for researchers do not recognise sound data management or data sharing. There is little recognition for leadership in the compilation of, or major contribution to, high value, open access databases and datasets, nor in the development of tools that enhance the value of data […]. Researchers in academic institutions do not receive recognition in their tenure and promotion reviews for significant contributions to research data or its management."

The Working Group is now looking to develop an action plan and an engagement strategy for the relevant stakeholders. Worth keeping tabs on how they get on…

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