Pursuing best performance in research data management by using the Capability Maturity Model and rubrics

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of eScience Librarianship, Volume 6, Issue 2, p.e1113 (2017)


OBJECTIVE: To support assessment and improvement of research data management (RDM) practices to increase the reliability of RDM, this paper describes the development of a capability maturity model (CMM) for RDM. Improved RDM is now a critical need, but low awareness of—or indeed lack of—data management is still common among research projects.

METHODS: A CMM includes four key elements: key practices, key process areas, maturity levels and and generic processes. These elements were determined for RDM by a review and synthesis of the published literature on and best practices for RDM.

RESULTS: The RDM CMM includes five chapters describing five key process areas for research data management: 1) data management in general; 2) data acquisition, processing and quality assurance; 3) data description and representation; 4) data dissemination; and 5) repository services and preservation. In each chapter, key data management practices are organized into four groups according to the CMM’s generic processes: commitment to perform, ability to perform, tasks performed and process assessment (combining the original measurement and verification). For each of practice, the document provides a rubric to help projects or organizations assess their level of maturity in RDM.

CONCLUSIONS: By helping organizations identify areas of strength and weakness, the RDM CMM provides guidance on where effort is needed to improve the practice of RDM.

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