Research data management (RDM) has become a crucial part of life science research. DTL is actively involved in several national and global initiatives that aim to promote adequate RDM, including
- National Coordination Point Research Data Management (LCRDM), whose mission is to prepare, facilitate and monitor the development and implementation of Research Data Management Policy for scientific research in the Netherlands, in close cooperation with the professional field, and to ensure the exchange of knowledge and experience on a national level so that the Netherlands can achieve an efficient and effective development and implementation of research data management;
- The Data for Life Sciences programme of the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centers (NFU) and their Handbook for Adequate Natural Data Stewardship (HANDS);
- ELIXIR-Training activities in the field of data management planning;
- Research Data Alliance (RDA), which was launched by the European Commission, the United States National Science Foundation and National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Australian Government’s Department of Innovation with the goal of building the social and technical infrastructure to enable open sharing of data.
Data stewardship versus data management
There is no consensus on the proper use of the terms ‘data stewardship’ and ‘data management’. People often assume that data management finishes and data stewardship starts when the project ends. DTL has come up with the following definition for data stewardship: ‘Responsible planning and executing of all actions on digital data before, during and after a research project, with the aim of optimizing the usability, reusability and reproducibility of the resulting data’. Regardless of the terminology, creating FAIR data requires attention from the planning phase of a scientific experiment to the life-long maintenance of the data.