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Research Data Management (RDM): RDM Institutional Strategy

This guide explains the what, why and how of Research Data Management at Sheridan College.

Research Data Management Institutional Strategy at Sheridan College

In drafting Sheridan’s Institutional RDM Strategy, we have taken a long-range view as we build capacity and implement Research Data Management. We recognize that achieving a mature state of supporting infrastructure and resources at the institution will continue to grow over the next five years. While we have identified the broader areas of focus to achieve that long-term goal, we consider this strategy document as iterative.

This Strategy will continue to be socialized and implemented and reviewed/updated annually with new priority focus areas for continually moving towards our ideal end state.

In March 2021 the Canadian Tri-Agencies (NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR) formalized and released the Tri-Agency Research Data Management (RDM) Policy. The objective of this policy is to support Canadian research excellence by promoting sound data management and data stewardship practices among grant recipients and institutions administering Tri-Agency funds.

The three main components of the policy include:

  • Development of an Institutional RDM Strategy which is to be posted on institution websites by March 2023;
  • Requirement for researchers to complete Data Management Plans for specific grants; and,
  • Expectation that institutions will provide infrastructure for data deposit.

Beginning in 2019, the Sheridan Research Data Management Advisory Committee (RDM Advisory Committee) was struck to respond to the requirements of the new Tri-Agency RDM expectations, with the initial Terms of Reference focused primarily on gathering information to inform the development of the Institutional Strategy. Since that time, the Committee has been focused on understanding the research and data landscape at Sheridan, understanding the needs of our researchers and working through the steps outlined within the Digital Research Alliance of Canada’s (formerly Portage Network) Institutional Research Data Management Strategy Template.

Sheridan Efforts to Date

Raise Awareness:

  • Established RDM Advisory Committee with Terms of Reference.
  • Developed RDM Library Guide and online RDM Tutorial available to all researchers at Sheridan (Research Data Management (RDM)).
  • Created Sheridan RDM Email for faculty/staff/students to ask questions (
  • Disseminated awareness building communications through Sheridan Research Newsletter and Sheridan Insider.
  • Developed RDM communication plan and began creating various communications products, including Tip Sheets, FAQs, self-directed training videos based on “Portage/Fanshawe Training in a Box”.
  • Developed internal centralized webpage of resources and information on Sheridan Central, the internal portal for Sheridan employees. (Sheridan Central RDM resources)
  • Provided briefing updates about Tri-Agency RDM Policy and Sheridan progress to Sheridan faculty and staff through internal communication channels and to Sheridan Research Ethics Board and Research Advisory Committee.

Assess Institutional Readiness:

  • Used Australian National Data Service (ANDS) Matrix to identify RDM ideal state for Sheridan across each of the RDM Committee subgroups.
  • Administered Sheridan-wide survey about existing understanding of and practices in managing research data and analyzed the resulting data to inform RDM priorities and workplan.
  • Assessed current Sheridan capacity and gaps across each stage of data lifecycle, mapped against ANDS desired state.
  • Collaborated with national and HAR colleagues to advocate for college sector RDM support

Formalize RDM Practices:

  • Re-oriented business librarian role to include some responsibilities that support building capacity for RDM related activities across the institution (Including DMPs, metadata standards, data curation, accessing data repositories)
  • Sheridan Library offers SOURCE: Sheridan’s Institutional Repository for secure data discovery and access.
  • Library pursuing subscription to Borealis data repository with other colleges
  • Developed “RDM Wise Practice Guidelines” for each stage of the data lifecycle in partnership with broader college work on new Data Governance Policy and Procedures.

Define a Roadmap:

  • Used information to create workplan based on identified institutional gaps and Sheridan researcher needs.

If you have comments or questions about Sheridan’s Institutional RDM Strategy, please reach out to