The importance of Data Stewardship at the WUR

Press release

The importance of Data Stewardship at the WUR

Published on
June 3, 2019

Increased pressure on researchers in order to incorporate sustainable data management in their data workflows is one of the reasons that Wageningen University and Research (WUR) is looking which role Data Stewards can play in the WUR organisation.

May 28 the second Data Stewardship Network Meeting took place, organised by the Wageningen Data Competence Center in collaboration with Wageningen Food Safety Research and the Library. The meeting was opened by the Dean of Research, Wouter Hendriks, who stressed the importance of good Data Management and the Data Stewardship role in the Data Management organization. During the meeting we looked back and forward on developments in Data Stewardship.

In one of the workshops a proposal on the tasks and roles of Data Stewards within WUR was presented by Sylvia Brugman. Feedback on the proposal was a strong warning that Data Stewardship requires time, and that this time needs to be acknowledged. Do not make the Data Steward role too big and keep in mind that the final responsibility for Data Management must remain with the principal investigator or line manager. We will include this feedback in our advice to the Wageningen Data Competence Steering group (mid-June) and publish the advice on this Intranet group after the meeting.

Many parallel, but short, workshops were held, which left us with remaining questions:

•How can we involve the management of the groups more, how can we create awareness on the benefits (and costs) of Data Stewardship;

•FAIR, what does it really mean, and how can we help researchers to publish data in a FAIR manner;

•We should work out data sharing guidelines and indicate which services on infrastructure are offered with the different sharing options;

•Work on online and flipped-classroom training modules on Data Management subjects.

The good news is that the WDCC, in collaboration with the Library and IT is working on the issues raised during the network meeting. We will keep you posted on this WDCC.