LEARN : LEaders Activating Research Networks. Towards a common model on Research Data Management Policy and Data Management Plans

LEARN  Project is an ongoing project (2015-06-01 to 2017-05-31) funded under Horizon 2020.  
LEARN aims to implement the LERU Research Data Roadmap and Toolkit to raise awareness of Research Data Management and Policy issues to institutions. LEARN encourages you to take part in Research Data Management Readiness survey!

“The production of data is expanding at an astonishing rate: experts now point to an 4300% increase in annual data generation by 2020”(LEARN: Goals, Impact And Expected Results).

In the age of the data deluge digital technology enables us to store petabytes of data and to make that available for sharing as open data.

Managing research data has become one the contemporary challenges for research institutions while data sharing has the potential to dynamically transform the way that researchers work as it avoids costly duplication in the collecting of data and enables global research collaborations which otherwise would not be possible.

The purpose of the LEARN (LEaders Activating Research Networks) initiative - funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme - is to work on the LERU Roadmap for Research Data (produced by the League of European Research Universities, LERU, in 2013) in order to help research institutes and universities to develop their policy for researchers on how to store, manage and share their research data. LEARN outcomes will also help to build a coordinated e-infrastructure across Europe and beyond.

LEARN objectives and activities to achieve them

To achieve the aforementioned purpose, five LEARN partners (University College London, Universitat De Barcelona, Stichting Liber, University Vienna, United Nations Economic Commission For Latin America And The Caribbean) are working together on:

In order to encourage all stakeholders – researchers, research funders, research organizations and senior decision makers – to explore what their roles and responsibilities are in the fast-changing environment of infrastructure development and RDM, LEARN has set out to hold a series of Workshops, within four European countries (UK, Spain, Austria, Finland) and one Latin American country (Chile). Two of these workshops already took place in:

The 3rd LEARN Workshop called Make research data management policies work (and organized by LIBER) will take place in  Helsinki on 28th June 2016, the day before the Annual LIBER Conference.

Feedback about the current situation  in managing research data gained from workshop attendees will be used for a new Toolkit of RDM best practice.  This latter will take into account also the results from an online  RDM READINESS SURVEY “Is Your Institution Ready For Managing Research Data?” compiled within the LEARN project in accordance with three possible situations:

  • an institution ready to manage research data,
  • an institution on the way,
  • an institution that has not yet started,
  • as a self-assessment tool based on the issues posed to institutions by the LERU Roadmap for Research Data.

LEARN invites any research institution to take part in this survey which is available online in English and in Spanish and also released in a PDF document with the colored answers (green, yellow, and green) in English and in Spanish. 

The survey is addressed to research institutions such as yours that are currently facing the challenges of RDM whether or not you have developed a strategy and/or policy. Moreover, the survey reviews the existence of a policy as well as the establishment of services to help researchers in the management of their data. It also questions the existence of infrastructures and models of cost at your institution. Furthermore, the survey remarks on the need for the creation of new roles and the organization of training sessions in order to build awareness and to steward researchers with their data.

The answers gathered by the online survey will:

  • be collected by the LEARN Project partners and will be analyzed in order to get a down-to-earth picture of the current situation at different research institutions particularly across Europe, Latin America but also beyond;
  • will allow you to assess the level of readiness your institution towards research data management, diagnose your current situation and be able to identify gaps and areas for further action.

LEARN has launched a Call for expressions of interest: Research Data Management

As real examples are essential for the design of a model RDM policy template that will address common needs and situations, in March 2016, LEARN has launched a Call for expressions of interest: RDM inviting all interested people to share their experience about the development and implementation of RDMs and RDM policies.
Besides that, the LEARN project will also encourage institutions to produce RDM policies themselves. To this end, LEARN will:

  • write a model RDM Policy which could then be tailored by any university or research institution to meet their needs;
  • provide Policy coordination;
  • advocate the Recommendations on RDM and open data made by the LERU Roadmap

to help institutions to get this started and to quicken the take-up of RDM and the move to open data in the emerging world of Science 2.0.

Guidance to implement the Roadmap will be provided following identification of best practices supported by case studies (about maximization of global research data through common e-infrastructures) contributing to taking-up of digital infrastructures identified through the workshops.

LEARN supports cooperation with developing countries

As a Project partner, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has actively been  promoting LEARN and pursuing efforts to advocate the advancement of RDM throughout the region.

Where no specific laws exist, government agencies of Latin America are making efforts to contribute to data sharing and reuse. For example, in Chile, the National Council of Science and Technology (CONICYT), has published on its Scientific Data website  an Open Data Policy Proposal  which is currently open for consultation, and which, if approved, will require researchers whose work has been funded by the agency to publish their data in open repositories.  Another example is FAPESP, the funding agency of the Sao Paulo State, in Brazil, which currently requires that researchers applying for funds from the e-Science Program to present RDM Plans.

(See: RDM in Latin America and the Caribbean: an Overview).

ECLAC has been meeting people from research funding agencies, universities, libraries and other institutions. Thanks to the shared information, ECLAC has a better understanding of the state of the art of RDM in the region and has moved forward to create a LEARN community in Latin America and the Caribbean, in which the collaboration on sharing knowledge, experiences and find avenues about the development of RDM is a key.

(See: Paving the way for RDM in Latin America and the CARIBBEAn: the role of ECLAC in LEARN). 

ECLAC is still looking for more people and institutions to join this community, so if you want to be one of them be sure to contact ECLAC! 

Last but not least.

The 4th LEARN Workshop will take place on October 27th in Santiago, Chile and will be hosted by ECLAC

Any questions about LEARN can be addressed to [email protected]


Source: EU-funded project, LEARN (Leaders Activating Research Networks).


Save the date!


28th of June                             

3rd LEARN Workshop called Make research data management policies work


29th of June – 1st of July       

Annual LIBER Conference Libraries Opening Paths to Knowledge