Title (eng)

Data Stewardship Profile: Results from a survey of 6 Austrian research-performing institutions


Stefan Reichmann   TU Graz


Universities are beginning to recognize the value inherent in the vast amounts of research data they
hold. Yet, universities have different philosophies to tackle the challenges inherent in making the most
of these data, depending on their institutional trajectory, aims, and organizational structure. On the
road towards curating and stewarding those data, universities encounter a variety of problems. A
much-discussed solution involves professionalizing data stewardship at various levels of university
organisation. Here, we present the results of an Austrian case study based on a small survey of 6
Austrian research-performing institutions regarding their expectations from data stewards. The survey
was developed as part of the FAIR Data Austria project (2020-2022) with the aim of better
understanding the desired profile of data stewards in terms of backgrounds and skills in relation to
expected task areas. The survey was sent to project partners in preparation for a workshop (held in
October 2021) to collaboratively develop the profile of a data steward and find out about project
partners current status, expectations, and needs. The survey was targeted at those currently
responsible for data management and stewardship (not necessarily under that title) and found that
participant institutions find themselves in different places with respect to data stewardship
implementation. There are considerable differences in expectations, both in terms of desired
backgrounds as well as envisioned tasks of data stewards. This suggests that the profile of a data
steward will be somewhat flexible, depending on the kind of institution. In addition, universities find
themselves in different places along the way of implementing adequate stewardship mechanisms. The
survey found centralized approaches to data stewardship where data agendas lie with central
organizational units such as the library, IT services, or (in rare cases) dedicated data working groups as
well as the beginnings of decentralized approaches with more specialization.

Object languages





Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
CC BY 4.0 - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

CC BY 4.0 International



FAIR Data Austria, data steward, research data management

Member of the Collection(s) (2)

o:424738 Openaire v3.0 collection
o:168770 Open Access Collection