The first requirement of the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy is an institutional strategy. All institutions eligible for Tri-Agencies funding must provide the Tri-Agencies with and have a published institutional strategy by March 1, 2023.
The purpose of an Institutional RDM Strategy is to foster a culture and develop capacity that supports researchers in adopting responsible RDM practices, following the FAIR Principles to make research data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable.
The Portage Network* defines an institutional RDM strategy as: "a concise and directive document that outlines how an institution, such as a university or research institute, will increase its capacity for effectively managing its research data". (Portage Network, 2020)
In other words, an institutional RDM strategy provides a roadmap for all people in an organization to understand their role and responsibility for good data management and the resources and tools available.
There are four main components of an institutional strategy:
* The Portage Network is the RDM service of the Digital Research Alliance of Canada (the Alliance) and is dedicated to the shared stewardship of research data in Canada through:
Knowing the FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable) principles of RDM and what they mean in a practical way informs an institutional strategy and data management plans.
There is a misconception that FAIR principles dictate that data must be open. Neither the Tri-Agency policy nor the FAIR principles prescribe that data must be openly accessible. Instead, the FAIR principles provide the factors to consider when assessing data within an institutional strategy and data management plan.
In 2019 the Portage Network Research Intelligence Expert Group conducted a survey on behalf of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries of post-secondary institutions and government agencies to assess the readiness of those organizations to adopt and implement an institutional strategy.
In addition to serving the purpose of the survey, the questions asked provide organizations with the framework of the requirements to prepare and implement an institutional strategy.
Key questions to consider include: