Capitalizing on Big Data: Agencies launch consultation on digital scholarship

Canada’s federal research granting agencies—the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), as well as the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and in collaboration with Genome Canada—have joined forces to help address digital infrastructure challenges through the consultation document Toward a Policy Framework for Advancing Digital Scholarship in Canada.

Canada stands at the edge of an information and communications revolution. Dynamic new technologies are enabling, accelerating and influencing deep conceptual changes in the research environment, the economy and society.

Many elements of the digital infrastructure required to facilitate advanced research in this new environment are now in place. At the same time, the potential of data-intensive research is quickly exceeding our ability to manage and to grow the digital ecosystem required to meet 21st century research needs, and thus contribute to Canada’s social and economic prosperity.

To help address this challenge, the Agencies in the consultation document are proposing a collective realignment of funding policies that will help promote excellence in data-management practices in agency-funded projects.


Multi-sector stakeholders’ feedback is vital to the ongoing development of an advanced digital ecosystem and will allow Canadian research to take full advantage of the data wave and to compete effectively on a global scale.

Institutions, associations, organizations and individuals may provide input on the consultation document between now and December 16, 2013. Email responses should be sent to


The Agencies would like to thank the groups and individuals who have already provided advice and feedback through the development of the consultation document.