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Canada’s research funding agencies launch research data management policy

Today, Canada’s three federal research funding agencies—the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)—launched the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy (RDM policy). As part of the agencies’ ongoing commitment to Canadian research excellence, this policy promotes sound digital data management and data stewardship practices, including practices aligned with Indigenous data sovereignty and in support of the strategic plan Setting new directions to support Indigenous research and research training in Canada 2019 –2022, released by the Canada Research Coordinating Committee in January 2020. It also supports Canadian research integrity and cybersecurity by promoting best practices for safeguarding your research.

Effective research data management (RDM) helps ensure research is conducted to the highest professional and disciplinary standards—that it is performed ethically and efficiently, that experiments and studies are replicable, and that research results are as accessible as possible. The agencies’ RDM policy establishes requirements for institutional RDM strategies, data management plans and data deposit.

To facilitate the RDM policy’s implementation, the agencies will take a phased, incremental approach. For the first requirement, postsecondary institutions and research hospitals have until March 1, 2023, to prepare an institutional RDM strategy that supports sound RDM practices, as outlined in the policy.

The RDM policy was developed following extensive engagement over several years with the research community, key stakeholders and Indigenous partners. The agencies remain open to feedback on the policy and are committed to ongoing dialogue with all communities, stakeholders and partners impacted by its implementation.

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