University of Hertfordshire published new policy and guidelines for staff with regard to Data Management on September 1, 2011. Most of the policy and its appendices are available publicly on the University’s Policy and Regulation web site under Data Management Policy.
Since this is a regulatory document, the language is ‘quasi-legal’, full of cross references to other policy, and naturally University of Hertfordshire centric. However the main Policy Document does contain a useful and generally applicable set of definitions with regard to data, its owners and users.
The most useful part of the policy for Researchers is the appendix: Guide to Research Data Management. This contains a checklist of questions, the answers to which lead to the formation of a good practice Data Management Plan and also facilitate the responses likely to be required by external funding bodies. The list is comprehensive, and possibly daunting, but the guide makes the point that is should be tackled with the help of a centrally resourced knowledge expert (KBIC).
The production of further guidance and demonstration of commoditised services is one of the purposes of the Research Data Toolkit project, thereby helping researchers to ‘tick off’ their checklist, create successful bids, and establish and cement good data management.