If You Build It, Will They Fund? Making Research Data Management Sustainable
by Ricky Erway and Amanda Rinehart
January 28, 2016
Data management underpins current and future research, funder mandates, open access initiatives, researcher reputations and institutional rankings. While it is widely recognized that data management support is necessary, recognition that it requires sustainable funding is slower in coming. Even as the community is beginning to understand the costs, it must begin to address how data management might be funded. This brief report provides an overview of seven funding strategies and their standing in the US. Circumstances in seven other countries are described in the appendix.
· Because some research data is a valuable university asset, institutions should build ongoing funding into their base budgets to provide resources to the units responsible for managing that asset.
· The seven funding strategies include obtaining institutional budgetary support, adding to grant budgets, charging data depositors, charging data users, establishing an endowment, using existing funding for data repository development and making do with existing budgets.
· Another option is to outsource to external data repositories, although many make no effort to meet digital preservation standards.