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Research Data Management @ Camosun

This site supports the culture of research at Camosun College. Paying specific attention to research data management, it describes the current research culture data stewardship practices and it provides a roadmap for promoting best practices for research

Camosun context

Research Data Management (RDM) at Camosun College is an emerging key aspect of our overall research practices.

The purpose of this strategy is to provide clarity, guidance and support to Camosun College researchers’ stewardship of their research data. Central to this guidance is emphasizing the importance of creating, following, and updating data management plans, stressing the importance of indigenous data sovereignty, and ensuring data is held securely both during the active research phase and after given projects have been completed.

Camosun believes in maintaining the highest ethical standards in research conducted at the college and promotes an ethics approval process based on nationally recognized standards, managed by the Research Ethics Board (REB). Consisting of college and community members, the REB’s mandate is to:

  • advise the college about any ethical issues that may arise from research
  • advise researchers about ways to minimize risk and apply ethical research procedures to their research
  • educate the college community about ethical issues and proper ethical practices while conducting research
  • provide a certificate of approval (and dictate ongoing ethics monitoring) for all research projects that involve human participants.

Student and faculty research (including regular classroom projects) that in any way involves gathering of information from human participants is subject to review from the REB. Department Chairs can approve the ethical conduct of student research if they feel that the research poses minimal risk; otherwise, they will forward the project to the REB for review.

Eyēʔ Sqȃ’lewen, [Eye. sh-KWAW-leh-win] the Centre for Indigenous Education & Community Connections, provides support services to Camosun researchers through NECITEL (pronounced Ne Kwee Tul).  NECITEL, a SENĆOŦEN word that references ‘paying attention to one another,’ is a partnership which helps prepare Camosun to lead, support, or engage in research involving Indigenous people, communities, and knowledge application.

Most college research activities are undertaken by and through Camosun Innovates. Incorporating BC's first Technology Access Centre (TAC), Camosun Innovates has emerged as a regional leader in applied research and innovation, providing services for industries ranging from manufacturing and agriculture to sports and the arts.

In order to support robust research data services, Camosun is developing an Office of Research Services, currently in the planning stages. This office will coordinate research services across the college and manage our research data management website and research portal.  

Camosun College’s RDM strategy will be monitored and reviewed by an RDM Advisory Committee, led by the Vice President of Education and including representatives from multiple college sectors.

Data as Research Output

Well-managed research data can hold value in other research contexts, and is a valuable intellectual output in and of itself. The observations, measurements, or responses collected for one research project can prove useful to researchers doing related work. Making research data available allows secondary researchers to replicate findings, reproduce research, ask new questions, develop innovative new research approaches, and collaborate with colleagues in other institutions and fields of study.

As part of their Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management, Canada’s Tri-Agencies state that:

“The ability to store, access, reuse and build upon digital research data has become critical to the advancement of science and scholarship, supports innovative solutions to economic and social challenges, and holds tremendous potential for Canada's productivity, competitiveness and quality of life.”

Not all research data can be shared. Sensitive data on human participants, for example, requires ethical or legal consideration; research done in partnership with industry may be subject to commercial and intellectual property restrictions; institutional research conducted for internal purposes may be considered proprietary or sensitive.

Recognising data as a research output, Camosun College is committed wherever possible to promoting responsible stewardship of research data generated by Camosun College community members. This includes both the data gathered and metadata gathered alongside (e.g. code books, documentation, and survey questionnaires).

In order to ensure this stewardship, Camosun will train researchers in developing and maintaining Data Management Plans (DMPs). DMPs are living documents in which researchers describe their project and their intended strategies, processes, and practices for managing the data they collect and analyze. As living documents, DMPs can be modified and adapted as needed to reflect changes made to research design, scope, or methods. Researchers are encouraged to use standardized tools such as the National DMP Assistant (endorsed by the Tri-Agency) to guide them in articulating their data management plans.”

Research Data Management @ Camosun

Camosun College is dedicated to building long-term capacity for Research Data Management (RDM), guided by:

Our current RDM strategy is a living document, developed in consultation with the Office of the Vice President Education and the Camosun College Data Governance Committee, as well as Academic Faculties, Camosun Innovates, the Centre for Indigenous Education and Community, Educational Policy and Planning, Information Technology Services, Learning Services, and the Library. This strategy applies to all Camosun researchers in all disciplines at the College, including students, staff, faculty, and contract workers.

This strategy sets out our plan for RDM implementation through 2025, though this framework will continue to grow as we identify new circumstances and areas of interest for our stakeholders and community. All updates will be reflected on this website. The immediate focus of this strategy is supporting the management of data created through research funded by Tri-Agency grants, with its scope gradually expanding to guarantee that all researchers have the tools, technologies and service supports in place to aid their work and demonstrate strong data management practices. Our RDM Strategy will be reviewed annually by the RDM Advisory Committee, and revised as services, infrastructure, and leading practices evolve.

Camosun College is committed to supporting responsible research data management at the individual and institutional levels. To that end, we are enacting a three-year plan to establish and clarify a robust process of promoting responsible data management for all researchers, supporting their work by educating about policies governing research and scaffold aspects of responsible data management such as ensuring the creation and inclusion of supporting documentation, providing guidance on short term and long terms storage, and respecting First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit data sovereignty. This plan includes the creation of:

  • Building and maintaining a robust online guide providing support to students, staff, faculty, and administrators involved in the process of data gathering and data management,
  • Consultation services for those interested in additional information about research data management including helping researchers design and develop data management plans for their research efforts,
  • A detailed guide to data management plans (DMP) including data collection, documentation, storage, preservation, sharing, responsibility, and ethics,
  • Workshops for those planning or already involved in data gathering to ensure a basic understanding of leading practices,
  • Provision of a research data repository for the storage of data

Additionally, research data management will be incorporated into the processes and procedures of the Camosun College Research Ethics Board (REB) so as to facilitate seamless connections between the conduct of research involving human participants, the creation of research data management plans, and the provision of research data through the Camosun repository.