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Report maps data steward's different roles

The National Coordination Point Research Data Management (LCRDM) has published a report about the way data stewardship is organized in Dutch research institutes: 'Data stewardship on the map: a study of tasks and roles in Dutch Research Institutes'.

Professionalization of data stewardship

Illustratie van datastewards gezien door een vergrootglas

Good research requires good data stewardship. The researcher himself/herself is primarily responsible for all the data. However there always is the need for professional support to achieve proper research data management. To that end, diverse supportive data stewardship roles and functions have evolved in recent years.

For research institutes it is becoming ever clearer that professionalization of data stewardship is important; that data stewards are indispensable and that the various data stewardship roles must be placed within an organizational framework.

Clearer job description

During October 2018 through March 2019, a LCRDM task group, taking into account the prevailing uncertainty about het interpretation of data stewardship, worked on providing insight in what Dutch research institutes currently demand of data stewards and also what has been implemented and developed by and for them. Based on a literature study, analysis of recently published vacancies, a questionnaire and a series of interviews, a clear picture has been drawn of how data stewardship is currently implemented at Dutch institutes.

In the report three task areas are identified: ‘Embedded and operational’, ‘Generic and advice’ and ‘Policy, strategy and coordination’. These task areas clearly indicate where the emphasis of a data stewardship function lies and offers a basis for a clearer job description. However, thé generic or thé operational data steward, does not exist. When revising function profiles it is therefore advisable to formulate them loosley so they incorporate all relevant responsibilities.  

Read the report 

Report, infographic and underlying data are available in Dutch and in English through the website of the LCRDM and Zenodo. Printed copies of the report and infographic can be ordered through the LCRDM office.