Data Management

Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management

High-quality data management is fundamental to research excellence. The ability to store, access, reuse and build upon digital data is critical to the advancement of research, supports innovative solutions to economic and social challenges, and holds tremendous potential for improvements in quality of life nationally and internationally.

The three federal research funding agencies – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) – are committed to fostering a robust environment for data stewardship in Canada and internationally, and to helping ensure that Canada is well positioned to contribute to and capitalize on data-intensive science and scholarship. To achieve this, and while recognizing the diversity of data practices and needs within the Canadian research community, the agencies are in the process of reviewing and enhancing their data management requirements for agency-supported researchers.

As a step in this process, the agencies have developed the Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management (the Statement). This builds on the 2013 consultation document, Toward a Policy Framework for Advancing Digital Scholarship in Canada, information provided by a Comprehensive Brief on Research Data Management Policies, and advice received through stakeholder engagement. The agencies sought feedback from the research community in summer 2015 on a draft version of the Statement.

The Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management outlines the agencies’ overarching expectations with regard to digital research data management, and the responsibilities of researchers, research communities, institutions and funders in meeting these expectations. It complements and builds upon existing agency policies, and will serve as a guide to assist the research community in preparing for, and contributing to the development of, Tri-Agency data management requirements. The HTML version is accessible here, and the PDF version is accessible here.

As the context for research data management evolves, the agencies – in consultation with the stakeholders for research data management in Canada – will review and revise the Statement as appropriate.

Over the coming months, the agencies will engage the research community to seek advice on realizing the principles expressed in the Statement, particularly with a view to developing new data management requirements.

Please send questions or comments to: