University Libraries Partners with the Office of Research for Data Sharing Memorandum

Three computers sitting side by side on a table with white curved lines indicating a connection and content sharing between the different devices.

A new group of experts representing over a dozen campus units has been formed to ensure there’s a proactive and coordinated campus response to upcoming data sharing requirements impacting all sources of federally funded research.

The Ohio State University Libraries partnered with the Office of Research to sponsor this working group made up of several faculty members, staff from multiple offices and a representative from the Senate Research Committee. A key aspect of their work is to develop an outreach and education plan to ensure researchers have timely access to the information they need to be prepared. Together, the group will collaborate on:

  1. Conducting a collective study of the new policies to ensure a strong baseline of knowledge across campus.

  2. Developing an education and outreach strategy for communicating with researchers and their support teams.

  3. Updating the university’s Research Data Policy to ensure alignment with sponsor policies.

  4. Making recommendations for longer-term strategies, including infrastructure needs.

The new requirements are in response to a memorandum issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) Policy in August 2022. All federal agencies are now required to create or update all policies that facilitate public access to publications and data from sponsored research projects in addition to the larger federal agencies that had this requirement in 2013.

Broadening the data sharing expectations to all sources of federal funding has many anticipated benefits including promoting public trust in science through greater transparency, encouraging research integrity by making it easier to validate and reproduce studies and accelerating scientific discovery by removing barriers to access.

These anticipated benefits will also come with the challenge of ensuring that campus researchers are aware of the new requirements and have the support necessary to prepare data for public dissemination. This is especially true in research areas like the humanities that were not widely impacted by the earlier memorandum and will be expected to develop strategies for data management and sharing for the first time.

University Libraries and the Office of Research have complementary expertise relevant to public access requirements that will help ensure the success of this project. University Libraries draws on experience in archiving and preserving scholarly knowledge, while the Office of Research is a trusted partner in establishing and communicating university and sponsor policies.

The working group shared that they look forward to engaging more faculty stakeholders as their work progresses.