Research Data Management Policy

Last Updated July 18, 2022

Committee Charge

The Research Data Management Policy Committee was charged in May 2022 to define research data and record management, as well as storage standards for research conducted at the University. In the interest of transparency, the Committee will provide regular updates to this webpage throughout the policy development and implementation. The Committee will also seek regular feedback from the University community and will use this webpage to both solicit and share feedback regarding the policy development. 

Committee Scope

The scope of the Committee is to develop a policy that promotes clear and achievable research data management practices to foster sound scientific practices around research data management, retention, access, and sharing. This Committee was established in response to the need for institutional policy that reflects federal and other sponsor requirements, including, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF), as well as to emphasize scientific best practices across the University research community. Policy outlining clear data management expectations is also needed to ensure the integrity of research data at Penn State. 

Although the need for a Research Data Management policy is driven by federal and other sponsor requirements, the proposed policy will apply to both funded and unfunded research. The policy will be designed to help all research personnel at Penn State to ensure that research results and data are properly secured, maintained, and accessible so that questions of integrity and reproducibility can be addressed. Many peer institutions are also adapting policies to define the expectations of research data management and sharing. 

Current Phase & Next Steps

Currently, the Committee is working to complete the initial draft of the Research Data Management Policy by:

  • Reviewing existing resources, practices, and policies related to research data management across the institution
  • Benchmarking with peer institutions
  • Evaluating sponsor and publisher requirements

 

After writing the intial draft of the policy, the Committee will begin to request feedback on a rolling basis. The Committee hopes to get broad feedback from across the University. More information about how to provide feedback will be included on this webpage once the Committee reaches the feedback phase.

How Does This Impact Research Projects?

This proposed new policy will be designed to promote the use of research data management best practices across disciplines. As the policy is currently in draft, any existing research projects should continue their already determined research data management practices based on practices in their field and sponsor requirements. 

Regarding research data storage, the proposed policy will not specify where researchers will need to store their data, but rather set expectations for data maintenance, retention, access and sharing. 

Key Resources 

The Committee also intends to identify a need for and make recommendations on necessary resources to help the Univeristy community successfully adopt the practices outlined in the Research Data Management Policy. Below are some existing resources related to research data management:

Committee

The Research Data Management Committee includes members across the University. The Co-Chairs for the Committee are Dr. Courtney Karmelita, Assistant Director of Research Quality and Integrity (Office for Research Protections), and Dr. Briana Wham, Data Learning Center Manager/Research Data Librarian, STEM (Libraries). The Committee members include:

  • Dr. Guido Cervone, Professor of Geography, Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, and Associate Director of the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences 

  • Mr. Doug Dodson, Research Data Security and Compliance Analyst (Office of the Senior Vice President for Research) 

  • Dr. Rick Gilmore, Professor of Psychology (College of the Liberal Arts)

  • Mr. Jason Hughes, MBA, Research Informatics Officer (College of Medicine) 

  • Ms. Dora Hunter, Director, Clinical Research Office (Penn State Neuroscience Institute)

  • Dr. Miranda Kaye, Director, Survey Research Center (SSRI)  

  • Mr. Jim Leous, Manager and Research Programmer (Research IT)   

  • Ms. Natalie Mansell, Privacy and Compliance Specialist (Office of Information Security)

  • Ms. Jodi Mathieu, CIP, IRB Assistant Director (Office for Research Protections)

  • Ms. Kris McNitt , Research Security Compliance Data Use Team Lead (Office of Sponsored Programs)

  • Mr. Clint Schmidt, J.D., Senior Director, Research Security and Conflict of Interest (Office for Research Protections) 

  • Dr. Alicyn Rhoades,, Interim Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies (Penn State Behrend) 

  • Ms. Ashley Stauffer, Research Program Analyst  (OACIOR)

  • Dr. Sheila Vrana, Associate Dean for Research (College of Medicine) 

Questions

Please direct any questions to either Courtney Karmelita (cec5032@psu.edu) or Briana Wham (bde125@psu.edu).