Data is a big deal these days. Many United States’ grants are now requiring the PIs to have plans in place for long-term storage of and access to data resulting from research conducted with grant money. With so much data being generated, it is more important than ever before for scientists to ensure data is properly archived, preserved, and made accessible to others.
Until very recently, data was not the main focus of research. What counted were the results. You hypothesize, conduct the research, analyze the data, and publish. If another scientist would like access to the data, he/she would have to contact the PI (as long as the contact information was accurate), and hope someone thought to keep multiple copies in technology formats that weren’t obsolete.
Data was getting lost, forgotten about, or simply was inaccessible by those outside the research. This data was often collected by means of a taxpayer-funded grant provided by a U.S. Government agency, and many taxpayers were unable to access it.
The White House took notice. In early 2013, the Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a Memorandum outlining the plan for any government agency with over $100 million in annual research and development expenses to devise a plan for increased public access to the data, research, and the resulting publications.
That was a hefty declaration that left many scrambling to understand what role research universities should play, could play, and would play in preserving and facilitating access to this research data. On June 7, 2013, the SHARE (SHared Access Research Ecosystem) Initiative was proposed by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Association of American Universities (AAU), and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU). The Initiative declared that university-based repositories will take on the responsibilities of long-term preservation and global access of the publically funded research. SHARE was awarded a $1 million grant, has formed multiple steering and working groups, and is tirelessly exploring how to build the network of repositories that will house the research.
The WSU Digital Services Team has also been exploring what role Wright State and CORE Scholar could play in housing and sharing research data resulting from public funds. We are able to provide PIs with data management services necessary for grants, including help and advice on writing the Data Management Plan, and the storage, preservation, and dissemination of data to a worldwide audience.
In honor of Open Access Week and to better educate the WSU campus on issues involving data management, Digital Services has invited Dr. Caroline Whitacre, Vice President for Research at The Ohio State University, and member of the SHARE Steering Group, to speak to WSU faculty and staff about SHARE during the Wright State University/Cleveland State University Joint Open Access Symposium on October 22nd.
Dr. Whitacre will speak at 2:45 pm in Dunbar Library 441. Event details and full schedule can be found at http://libraries.wright.edu/calendar/events.php. If you have any questions regarding the Symposium, Data Management Plans, or Open Access, please don’t hesitate to contact us!