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What are Research Data Management (RDM) Services?: RDM Services involve providing information, consulting, training in:

• Research data management planning
• Research data management guidance during research
• Research documentation and metadata
• Research data sharing and curation of completed projects and published data (Fearon, et al., 2013).

Why is it Important to Manage Research Data? Three main reasons:

  • Many major grant funding agencies (e.g., NSF, NIH, NEH, etc.) require grant applicants to submit a RDM plan (MIT Libraries, [2015]).
  • Research data is a university asset, the intellectual product of its faculty’s and students’ research, which merits consideration at both the data level and the university policy level (Erway, 2013).
  • Researchers and their graduate students often do not have the time or expertise to address RDM issues (Carlson & Stowell-Bracke, 2013).

Academic Libraries and RDM Services? Of all the RDM stakeholders (such as the office of research, research compliance office, information technology department, faculty and student researchers, and academic units) on a university campus, the library may be the one of the best situated to have a role in RDM because they have expertise in:

  • Specific academic subject areas
  • Archiving information sources; long-term preservation
  • Metadata and name authorities
  • Institutions repositories of “research outcomes” (Erway, 2013).


This poster was presented at the Teaching and Learning Bash on September 17, 2015 at Western Michigan University. NAME was part of the 2014-15 Academic Leadership Academy cohort.