As a policy data steward, I focus on policy development and the implementation of research data management practices in my organisation. I work in close collaboration with directors, policy makers and funders, and I help establish suitable and sufficient data stewardship services and infrastructure.
It is my job to coordinate and align efforts on the quality, security and management of my organisation’s data, thus effectively supporting the research process. I have a good knowledge of local, national and international procedures and regulations, such as my institution’s research code, national codes of conduct or the EU privacy legislation. I translate these general concepts into practical guidelines for my organisation, and coordinate their implementation and monitoring.
- Advise, develop and monitor a research data management (RDM) policy institutionally or nationally
- Ensure compliance of the RDM policy to codes of conduct and regulations, including ethical and legal compliance
- Align the RDM policy to the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data principles and the principles of Open Science
- Organise RDM support into a set of services
- Identify the requirements of adequate data-infrastructure for RDM to comply with the institute’s RDM policy and alignment to (inter)national data-infrastructure and tools
- Determine the adequate level of knowledge and skills on RDM
- Maintain a network of aligned RDM expertise inside and outside the organisation
- Identify the requirements of adequate support and data infrastructure for FAIR and long-term archiving of data
Institutes across Europe have started hiring professional data stewards. A policy oriented data steward is expected to be competent in the following areas:
- Develop, implement, monitor and evaluate policies regarding research data that are endorsed by researchers and aligned with internal and external stakeholders and effectuate change management
- Communicate about the FAIR data and Open Science principles to researchers, support staff and relevant stakeholders, thus creating awareness within institutes and organisations
- Give advice on RDM and formats for data management plans (DMP) to a broad audience
- Communicate about the RDM policy, explain implications and create awareness
- Translate RDM policy and legislation and codes of conduct concerning research data into practical implications and guidelines for that researchers can understand
- Formulate requirements for RDM support (staff and services)
- Assess and analyse needs from researchers regarding support on RDM for researchers and define new requirements
- Assess RDM knowledge and skills and identify gaps among researchers and relevant stakeholders
If you want to become competent in these areas or build capacity in your institution then the following training resources might be useful:
- TeSS: ELIXIR’s training portal
- RDNL Essentials for Data Support
- Mantra RDM training
- GO FAIR resources
- Data Carpentry lessons
- RDNL & DCC Delivering RDM Services
- Compliance monitoring & measurement: measure compliance to data management regulations and standards.
- Data management plan: how to write a Data Management Plan (DMP).
- Data protection: how to make research data compliant to GDPR.
- Licensing: how to license research data.
- Sensitive data: how to identify different research data types.
- NPOS/ELIXIR data steward competency framework
- FAIR guiding principles
- Science Europe Practical Guide to the International Alignment of RDM
- ELIXIR Data Managers Network
Relevant tools and resources
|Tool or resource||Description||Tags||Registry|
|BBMRI-ERIC's ELSI Knowledge Base||The ELSI Knowledge Base is an open-access resource platform that aims at providing practical know-how for responsible research.||data protection sensitive policy officer data manager human data|
|Choose a license||Choose an open source license||licensing researcher data manager policy officer|
|Creative Commons License Chooser||It helps you choose the right Creative Commons license for your needs.||licensing researcher data manager policy officer|
|DAISY||Data Information System to keep sensitive data inventory and meet GDPR accountability requirement.||IT support policy officer human data data protection|
|DAWID||The Data Agreement Wizard is a tool developed by ELIXIR-Luxembourg to facilitate data sharing agreements.||data protection policy officer human data|
|EU General Data Protection Regulation||Regulation (eu) 2016/679 of the european parliament and of the council on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing directive 95/46/ec (general data protection regulation).||data protection policy officer human data|
|EUDAT licence selector wizard||EUDAT's wizard for finding the right licence for your data or code.||licensing researcher data manager policy officer|
|EUPID||EUPID provides a method for identity management, pseudonymisation and record linkage to bridge the gap between multiple contexts.||IT support policy officer human data|
|fairsharing||A curated, informative and educational resource on data and metadata standards, inter-related to databases and data policies.||metadata data publication policy officer data manager researcher micro biotech|
|GA4GH data security toolkit||Principled and practical framework for the responsible sharing of genomic and health-related data.||data publication policy officer data manager IT support human data|
|GA4GH regular and ethical toolkit||Framework for Responsible Sharing of Genomic and Health-Related Data||data protection sensitive policy officer data manager IT support human data|
|How to License Research Data - DCC||Guidelines about how to license research data from Digital Curation Centre||licensing researcher data manager policy officer|
|Informed Consent Ontology||The Informed Consent Ontology (ICO) is an ontology for the informed consent and informed consent process in the medical field.||IT support policy officer human data|
|ISO/IEC 27001||International information security standard||data protection policy officer human data|
|MCPD||The Multi-Crop Passport Descriptor is the metadata standard for plant genetic resources maintained ex situ by genbanks.||metadata researcher IT support policy officer plants|
|MONARC||A risk assessment tool that can be used to do Data Protection Impact Assessments||data protection policy officer human data|
|Open Definition Conformant Licenses||Licenses that are conformant with the principles laid out in the Open Definition.||licensing researcher data manager policy officer|
|Privacy Impact Assessment Tool||Privacy Impact Assessment Tool is a software, that allows you to carry out Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) independently.||data protection policy officer human data|
|The European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA)||EGA is a service for permanent archiving and sharing of all types of personally identifiable genetic and phenotypic data resulting from biomedical research projects||data publication human data policy officer|
|The Genomic Standards Consortium (GSC)||Minimum Information about any (x) Sequence||metadata researcher IT support policy officer human data|
|Tryggve ELSI Checklist||A list of Ethical, Legal, and Societal Implications (ELSI) to consider for research projects on human subjects||sensitive policy officer data manager human data|