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data policy, institutional data policy, research data, research data management, library data services, university policy


INTRODUCTION Many research institutions have developed research data services in their libraries, often in anticipation of or in response to funder policy. However, policies at the institution level are either not well known or nonexistent. METHODS This study reviewed library data services efforts and institutional data policies of 206 American universities, drawn from the July 2014 Carnegie list of universities with “Very High” or “High” research activity designation. Twenty-four different characteristics relating to university type, library data services, policy type, and policy contents were examined. RESULTS The study has uncovered findings surrounding library data services, institutional data policies, and content within the policies. DISCUSSION Overall, there is a general trend toward the development and implementation of data services within the university libraries. Interestingly, just under half of the universities examined had a policy of some sort that either specified or mentioned research data. Many of these were standalone data policies, while others were intellectual property policies that included research data. When data policies were discoverable, not behind a log in, they focused on the definition of research data, data ownership, data retention, and terms surrounding the separation of a researcher from the institution. CONCLUSION By becoming well versed on research data policies, librarians can provide support for researchers by navigating the policies at their institutions, facilitating the activities needed to comply with the requirements of research funders and publishers. This puts academic libraries in a unique position to provide insight and guidance in the development and revisions of institutional data policies.

Also published in the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication.

This article's data (given here as Additional Files) is available under a CC0 license. The preferred citation for the data is:

Briney, Kristin; Goben, Abigail; Zilinski, Lisa, 2015, “Data from: Do You Have an Institutional Data Policy? A Review of the Current Landscape of Library Data Services and Institutional Data Policies”,, Harvard Dataverse

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

InstitutionalDataPolicy_MasterData.csv (18 kB)
Data from: Do You Have an Institutional Data Policy?

InstitutionalDataPolicy_MasterData_DataDictionary.txt (3 kB)
Data dictionary for data from: Do You Have an Institutional Data Policy?