Becoming a data steward

Shalini Kurapati at the LSE Impact Blog: “In the context of higher education, data stewards are the first point of reference for all data related questions. In my role as a data steward at TU Delft, I was able to advise, support and train researchers on various aspects of data management throughout the life cycle of a research project, from initial planning to post-publication. This included storing, managing and sharing research outputs such as data, images, models and code.

Data stewards also advise researchers on the ethical, policy and legal considerations during data collection, processing and dissemination. In a way, they are general practitioners for research data management and can usually solve most problems faced by academics. In cases that require specialist intervention, they also serve as a key point for referral (eg: IT, patent, legal experts).

Data stewardship is often organised centrally through the university library. (Subject) Data librarians, research data consultants and research data officers, usually perform similar roles to data stewards. However, TU Delft operates a decentralised model, where data stewards are placed within faculties as disciplinary experts with research experience. This allows data stewards to provide discipline specific support to researchers, which is particularly beneficial, as the concept of what data is itself varies across disciplines….(More)”.