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Library Launches Research Data Collaborative

University-wide effort will produce new data-lifecycle services for Harvard researchers.


May 28, 2013—The Harvard Library, in collaboration with the Office of the Provost, IQSS Dataverse Network and HUIT, is launching the Research Data Collaborative (RDC) to develop research data management services. The RDC program’s FY14 goals include creation of tiered data management training for researchers and librarians, a University-wide data compliance network, effective data management plan support and an assessment of the data storage and curation needs of Harvard researchers.

The RDC program members will provide training materials along with workshops that broadly address research data management. Topics such as data security, storage, archiving, preservation and curation will be covered, in addition to data advisory services regarding retention and compliance policies. A University-wide survey and assessment will lay the groundwork for effective data management support services for a Harvard audience.

The Program is led by Gosia Stergios and the following team:

Kathryn Hammond Baker, Countway Library, HMS

Sonia Barbosa, Dataverse Network, Institute for Quantitative Social Science

Amy Benson, Schlesinger Library, RI

Eleni Castro, Dataverse Network, Institute for Quantitative Social Science

Merce Crosas, Dataverse Network, Institute for Quantitative Social Science

Christopher Erdmann, Wolbach Library, CfA

Jud Harward, Harvard University Information Technology

Virginia Hunt, University Archives

Skip Kendall, University Archives

Jonathan Kennedy, Center for Biomedical Informatics, Countway Library, HMS

Michael Leach, Harvard College Library, FAS

Melissa Lopes, Office of the Vice Provost for Research

Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, University Archives

Rob Parrott, Harvard University Information Technology

Connie Rinaldo, Ernst Mayr Library, Museum of Comparative Zoology, FAS

Martin Schreiner, Harvard Maps Collection, FAS

Darla White, Countway Library, HMS

The RDC is actively recruiting team members from the University community.

See below an initial list of projects planned for this calendar year. For more information on a project, please contact the project lead.

Project 1A: Data Information Literacy for Researchers

Lead: Gosia Stergios (

Team: Melissa Lopes, Connie Rinaldo, Kathryn Hammond Baker, Dataverse team, Jud Harward

Goal: Develop a targeted series of training materials for researchers, research administrators, and IRB officials (in data security, use, retention and management).

Project 1B: General Data Management Training for Librarians

Lead: Michael Leach (

Team: Connie Rinaldo, Gosia Stergios

Goal: Develop and deliver a series of training sessions for librarians who will become the key point service providers for data management. The first sessions will be announced soon!

Project 1C: Week of Data: An Intensive Course for Graduate Students and Librarians

Leads: Christopher Erdmann ( & Merce Crosas (

Team: Sonia Barbosa (IQSS), Eleni (IQSS), Amy Benson (Schlesinger Library)

Goal: To train graduate students to obtain necessary knowledge and skills for working with data and upgrade librarians’ skills and knowledge of current tools and methodologies used by researchers in the research data lifecycle.

Project 2: Data Retention Compliance Network

Leads: Melissa Lopes (, Gosia Stergios (

Team: Kris Bolt, Megan Sniffin-Marinoff, Connie Rinaldo

Goal: To facilitate and ensure researchers’ compliance with Harvard’s research data retention policy and funders’ policies by developing tiered advisory services by school-based teams that already have trusted working relationships with faculty and researchers, including librarians, archivists, IT and OA representatives.

Project 3: Data Management Plan Problem Assessment

Leads: Darla White (, Connie Rinaldo/Jud Harward (  

Team: Jeff Liu, FAS OSP representative

Goal: A concrete, actionable plan for effective data management plan support services.

Project 4: Harvard Research Data Management Needs Assessment

Leads: Kathryn Hammond Baker (, Gosia Stergios (

Team: Martin Schreiner, Rob Parrott, Melissa Lopes, Jud Harward, Connie Rinaldo

Goal: To conduct a uniform, Harvard-wide survey/assessment of the types, volume, and attributes/characteristics of research data that require retention and preservation, per Harvard and NSF/NIH data management/retention policies.