Program Manager, The Research Enterprise
Research universities often offer a range of support services to researchers who conduct data-intensive research, though these services are often so dispersed that neither researchers nor administrators fully understand what services are offered and how to access them. The national distribution of research data support services is even more opaque. To address this issue, Ithaka S+R conducted a pilot project to create an inventory of data support services in the United States in 2020. The methodology was updated in summer 2023, and the scope was expanded to include Canadian universities to provide landscape data on the service infrastructure that is supporting the Nelson Memo in the US and the Tri-Agencies Data Management Policy in Canada. Drawing on research into offerings at 120 US institutions (including R1, R2, and small liberal arts colleges) and a sample of Canadian Association of Research Libraries institutions, this presentation will share findings from the 2023 inventory, including data on how many distinct services colleges and universities are offering, what topics those services address, and by which university units. It will also include observations about service gaps, inefficiencies, and emerging models for optimizing research data support services. These findings will be useful to universities looking for benchmarking data and organizations that fund the basic infrastructure of academic research.