U-M Research Data Stewardship Policy

U-M’s new Research Data Stewardship Policy goes into effect on January 1, 2024. The policy provides guidance on the management, retention, ownership and sharing of research data, and was developed with extensive input from a wide range of faculty, staff and subject matter experts. Additional information and resources are below and will be added as the policy is being implemented.

U-M Resources for Implementation

  • The Research Data Stewardship Initiative (RDSI) portal includes answers to frequently asked questions about the policy and relevant matters. 
  • A procedural guidance document accompanies the policy itself and summarizes a number of resources and best practices for:
    • Responsibilities of principal investigators
    • Providing guidance about what to do when researchers leave the university, and
    • Offering more detailed information about data reuse, storage and archiving
  • Additional information, such as best practices and resources for stewardship of research data more broadly, are also on the RDSI portal and more are added periodically. 
  • The ITS data storage finder is regularly updated to provide options for research data storage solutions based on data types, sharing requirements and access needs.
  • The RDSI Community of Practice offers members of the U-M research community a forum to share resources, challenges and best practices related to research data management and sharing. Those who are interested can sign up here.
  • A downloadable slide deck for use in departments or units that summarizes the high level motivations and implications of the new policy.
  • A communications toolkit for newsletters or other channels that includes promotional language and graphics.

Next Steps in 2024

The RDSI working group is also working with partners across the university to develop additional resources and guidance as the policy goes into effect, including:

  • An update to the university-level research-related onboarding and offboarding checklists for researchers with explicit guidance around research data management.
  • Formation of a group, led by ITS, to assess data storage needs within units, especially for situations when researchers leave the university within the research data retention period.
  • Ongoing updates to the PEERRS Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship (RCRS) training module, which all employees and students engaged in research and scholarship are required to complete every three years.
  • The U-M Library is leading an effort to develop strategies for principal investigators and other researchers to manage research data over time, across multiple projects and people, including templates, best practices, and other guidance.


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