Research data management
Tri-agency — the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Energy Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) — launched a Research Data Management policy in March 2021, with three overarching requirements:
- Institutional strategies are to be publicly posted March 1, 2023.
- Data management plans will be needed to support research applications for Tri-agency funding.
- Data deposit will be needed in line with data management plans.
Covenant Health is a CIHR-eligible institution. A recent survey by our team (2022 September) found that 87 per cent of responding constituents desired ongoing CIHR eligibility.
Our role in research data management (RDM) relates primarily to the initial requirement for an institutional strategy (e.g., identifying rules and requirements, wayfinding and education), while data management plans and data deposit fall under the responsibility of the principal investigator.
Promoting and supporting research broadly, and RDM specifically, is an expression of our organization’s values: compassion, respect, collaboration, social justice, integrity and stewardship.
Strategy and roadmap
Covenant is a partner in Alberta’s health system which includes healthcare service providers, while other RDM-required organizations are primarily part of the post-secondary education sector. A large proportion of the research conducted by our facilities is in partnership with post-secondary education institutions. Our work towards tri-agency eligibility is not to supplant this partnership and the research of those institutions but to enable Covenant-driven research interests and initiatives. This is particularly important for our areas of focus and vulnerable populations, regardless of whether there is university-based interest or capacity.
Our clinicians, practitioners and staff are interested in conducting research to transform the health system through innovation, collaboration, growth and sharing learnings to respond to the strengths and needs of our communities, especially those most vulnerable as outlined in our strategic plan. Therefore, we expect that our approach to RDM will differ from other strategies.
- continue to participate with our partners, sharing common resources and further identifying resources
- raise awareness, identify champions (leaders and staff) and engage clinician-researchers, teams and others as part of this important work
Assess institutional readiness and define the ideal state for RDM
Using the Maturity Assessment Model in Canada (MAMIC) template, we will conduct a full review, including interviews with relevant departments, to provide information required in the areas of institutional policies and processes, IT infrastructure, support services and financial support. As a health system partner and provider, we can make use of robust structures already in place. We may choose resources outside Covenant to meet our researchers’ needs.
We will use the MAMIC outcomes to inform a workplan.
Formalize RDM practices
We anticipate that a formalized RDM strategy will come from a combination of internal and external resources to support best practices and provide a full suite to support researchers. Covenant staff, physicians, partner-principals and researchers will be able to access these resources.
Acronyms, definitions and resourcesAlberta Research-Data Management Information Network (Concordia University) Data Management Plan (CODATA) Digital Research Alliance of Canada (Alliance) DMP Assistant FAIR principles (Go-Fair) First Nations Principles of OCAP (First Nations Information Governance Centre) Glossary Common Terminology Version 5.0 (Alberta Innovates) Health Information Act Research Data Management Terminology (Alliance) Tri-Agency Research Data Management policy (Government of Alberta) University of Alberta RDM University of Calgary RDM University of Lethbridge RDM
Wayfinding and approval process
Development, grants and knowledge exchange
Operations, reporting and relationships