Towards Sustainable Research Data Repositories

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30 Apr 2019

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development adopts Research Data Alliance Output

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Global Science Forum (GSF) adopted the Income Streams for Data Repositories report produced by the RDA/WDS Publishing Data Cost Recovery for Data Centres Interest Group. Specifically, the RDA/WDS output fed into an OECD policy report and recommendations on Business Models for Sustainable Research Data Repositories. Two of the co-chairs of the RDA/WDS Interest Group chaired an Expert Group that oversaw the OECD work. The methodological approaches were similar and data collected in the earlier RDA work was used in the OECD project. The RDA community and Plenary meetings were also used to gather additional input to the OECD project and many RDA members attended two dedicated project workshops. The RDA/WDS Publishing Data Cost Recovery for Data Centres IG  provided OECD a substantial overview on income streams for data repositories. This was consolidated and expanded in the OECD-GSF project and the in-depth economic analysis that was carried out within the project. The authors of this adoption story, Carthage Smith and Taro Matsubara, members of the OECD Secretary, involved in the OECD-GSF project and report, tell us about the challenges they faced, the solution found in the RDA output, the impact it had and the lessons they learned.

 

“RDA provides unique access to expertise. There is much good work that has already been done, and we expect that, as in the OECD-GSF  case, some of this could be expanded and re-packaged quite easily to improve its chances of adoption by people and institutions who are not RDA members.  Ensuring trust and mutual benefit are the key to doing this successfully.“

Carthage Smith and Taro Matsubara (OECD-GSF)

 

The challenge: 

As described in the OECD “Business models for sustainable research data repositories” report, there are a large variety of repositories that are responsible for providing access to data used for research. As data volumes and demands for more open access to these data increase, repositories are coming under financial pressures that can undermine their long-term sustainability. In the absence of well understood business models and clear value propositions, many research data repositories are likely to be unsustainable, which would undermine efforts to promote Open and FAIR data. This would have serious consequences for research in general.

 

The OECD-GSF launched the project on Business Models for Sustainable Business Models with the aim of making recommendations to research policy-makers. In order to construct viable business models, the project focused on testing income streams against various stakeholder groups' willingness to pay.

 

The impact of the adoption: 

The RDA/WDS Publishing Data Cost Recovery for Data Centres IG provided the OECD-GSF project  with a substantial overview on income streams for data repositories. This was consolidated and expanded in the project and the in-depth economic analysis that was carried out within the project. The final OECD policy report has been written for, and provided to, research policy-makers and includes a number of recommendations that will help improve the strategic planning and support for data repositories. Several hundred copies of the report have been distributed via the OECD policy networks and it can be openly downloaded from the OECD iLibrary, which is a vital resource for those working in the research policy domain. The study results have been presented to national policy-makers and funders in open science events in a number of European and Asian countries and have also been included in several OECD flagship publications and international conferences relating to the digital economy.  Feedback has been positive and ministries and funding agencies from several OECD countries have reported that they find the report useful and are implementing its recommendations.

 

Read the full OECD adoption story here

 

Stakeholder Classification of your organisation: 
Government & Public Services
Additional support for this adoption story: 
The Dutch National Node DANS supported the submission of this adoption story.
RDA ouput(s) adopted: 
Income Streams for Data Repositories