Research data management and services: Resources for librarians

Research data management is a new service area in libraries. Librarians now provide services in this area for researchers: help researchers improve their RDM practices, create RDM guides, and help them meet publisher requirements. [1] The purpose of this article is to introduce librarians to a variety of Internet resources [2], including training materials, courses, and social and online communities, to help them gain new RDM skills.  



Data Management Planning Tool (DMPTool). The DMPTool, developed by the University of California Curation Center, allows librarians and researchers to develop data management plans through templates based on particular funder requirements. Access:

Purdue Data Curation Online Toolkit. This toolkit helps one develop a Data Curation Profile, which describes the lifecycle and history of a dataset. A researcher interview guide and profile template are provided. Developing a profile provides a platform for discussing data with researchers, educates researchers about data management, and offers insight into data services needs on campus. Access:



Coursera: Research Data Management and Sharing. Helen Tibbo of the University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science and Sarah Jones of the United Kingdom’s Digital Curation Centre teach this Coursera course. According to the instructors: “After completing this course, learners will be better equipped to manage data throughout the entire research data lifecycle, from project planning to the end of the project when data ideally are shared and made available within a trustworthy repository.” Access:

Library Juice Academy: Research Data Management. Library Juice Academy is a company that provides online professional development for librarians. The Research Data Management course ($250) is a six-week asynchronous course offered a few times a year. The description from the instructor states: “The purpose of this course is to explore the processes of data production and data management, and the role of LIS professionals and institutions in supporting data producers.” Access:

University of North Texas (UNT): Digital Curation and Data Management. Post-master’s library and information science professionals may be admitted to UNT’s Department of Information Science to earn a Graduate Academic Certificate in Digital Curation and Data Management. The certificate consists of four three-credit online courses (at UNT’s graduate course tuition rate), which prepare students for the “emerging digital curation and data management workforce.” Access:



 - DataONE Modules. These modules provide CC0-licensed slides, handouts, and sample activity assignments for use in class instruction or workshop sessions. A snapshot of the numerous and varied topics covered include general data management, data planning, data protection, metadata, and legal and policy issues. Access:

Digital Humanities Data Curation Guide (DHDC). RDM is not just for the sciences. Librarians supporting the humanities may wish to explore the DHDC’s guide. The guide includes a glossary and FAQ section, as well as topical articles relevant to the humanities with links to additional trusted resources. Access:

Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Data Management Services Trainings. The JHU Data Management Services team has developed handouts on fairly specific topics, such as de-identifying human subject data, as well as on broader issues in RDM such as data organization best practices. Several handouts require having a Box account (

- MIT Libraries Research Data Management Workshop Slides. The MIT Libraries’ RDM workshop slides offer concrete strategies, tools, and directions for research data management topics. Topics include a detailed data management overview, data management planning, file organization, data sharing and storage options, and version control. While the audience for these slides is the faculty, students, and staff working with data, librarians new to the field will find them clear and comprehensive to learn from or build on locally. Access:

New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum (NECDMC). The NECDMC is an instructional tool for teaching data management best practices to undergraduates, graduate students, and researchers in the health sciences, sciences, and engineering disciplines. Each of the curriculum’s seven online instructional modules aligns with the NSF’s data management plan recommendations and addresses universal data management challenges. Included in the curriculum are lesson plans, presentation slides, activities, and research case studies. Instructors are welcome to customize the content to meet the learning needs of their students and the policies and resources at their institutions. Access:

University of Minnesota Libraries Workshop Resources. The University of Minnesota Libraries data management workshops range from several session courses to one-shot trainings. Most trainings involve a mix of materials including videos, slides, checklists, and templates. Resources range from a full data management course offered in 2015 covering the essentials, to specific topics for individual workshops, such as creating a data management plan and how to share data. Access:

University of Wisconsin Data Services Video Series. The University of Wisconsin Data Services department’s YouTube channel offers a series of short videos in which data librarians explain the nuts and bolts of data services for researchers. The series begins with “Why Data Management?”—five reasons you should manage your data. Other videos cover key topics like version control, naming conventions, passwords, data citation, and data management plans. The information is very practical and explained clearly. Access: 



Data Ab Initio Blog. This blog about managing research data is written by PhD chemist and information professional Kristin Briney. Content over the past four years includes many posts about data conferences and webinars, book reviews, information about her own book on research data management, and lots of practical tips on dealing with research data. Access:

DataLibs. Follow #datalibs on Twitter to see what librarians are talking about, and for new resources and trends related to data science. Access:



DataCure Discussion List. Datacure is a Google group of librarians and information professionals whose members have significant roles or responsibilities in providing services in managing or curating research data. Datacure exists to provide a safe space for data professionals to talk frankly about their ideas, projects, successes, and struggles with their work.  Access:

DataQ. The DataQ Project is a collaborative platform for academic librarians to ask questions related to research data support in academic libraries. Questions can be submitted anonymously or through an account on the site and center around research data and librarianship. A team of named expert editors or project volunteers tag questions for easier topical browsing and draft responses in a fairly rapid time frame. Access:



1. Surkis, A., & Read, K. (2015). Research data management. Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 103(3), 154–156. doi:10.3163/1536-5050.103.3.011

2. BARBROW, Sarah; BRUSH, Denise; GOLDMAN, Julie. Research data management and services: Resources for novice data librarians. College & Research Libraries News, [S.l.], v. 78, n. 5, p. 274, may 2017. ISSN 2150-6698. doi: