Health knowledge made personal
Join this community!
› Share page:
Search posts:

Data management in Canadian health research

Posted Jan 11 2010 10:01am

See also Digital Libraries Glossary, Open access in Canada and Research for librarians - portal

Data management is the process of ensuring the accuracy, currency, storage, security and accessibility of data sets and other digital files in perpetuity. Its archival element is often referred to as data curation. In fulfilling these preservation responsibilities, library organizations may take responsible for the overall management of data and will consider the needs of faculty and researchers while delegating some aspects of the process to outside suppliers. Research data is defined as the factual records (e.g. data sets, microarray, numerical data, clinical trial information, textual records, images, sound, etc.) used as primary sources in research. This data is also distinguished by the fact that it is commonly accepted in the research community as a necessary source of information to validate research findings. According to , the majority of research data is not being properly archived in Canada. One study of the found that only 3 organizations out of 110 systematically archived data in repositories and of those all were archived in the United States. Put simply, research data generated in higher education is not managed in any coherent manner in Canada and much is under-utilized for knowledge-creation. While some disciplines and research areas have institutional, national and international supports in place for data management, this support is neither coordinated nor comprehensive.


  • Beagrie, N. Digital Preservation: Setting the Course for a Decade of Change. 2007.
  • Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL). CARL Data Management Sub-Committee. Research Data: Unseen Opportunities An Awareness Toolkit commissioned by the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL)
  • Cech T (2003) Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials: Responsibilities of Authorship in the Life Sciences. Washington: National Academies Press.
  • Community-based Data Interoperability Networks 2009. National Science Foundation.
  • Humphrey, C. Preserving research data: A time for action. In Preservation of electronic records: new knowledge and decisionmaking. 2003. Canadian Conservation Institute: Ottawa. pg. 83-89.
  • Harnessing the Power of Digital Data for Science and Society. Report of the Interagency Working Group on Digital Data to the Committee on Science of the National Science and Technology Council. January 2009.
  • Banks M. Marcus' World blog. Open Access, Grey Literature, Grey Data. July 21st, 2009.
  • Piwowar, HA, Day, RS, Fridsma, DB. Sharing Detailed Research Data Is Associated with Increased Citation Rate. 2007. PLoS ONE 2(3):
  • Research Data Canada -
  • Search Principle blog. Let's Liberate ‘Grey Data’ & Grey Literature. Sept 14th, 2009.
Post a comment
Write a comment: