Open Research aims to ensure free access to academic and public research and the data that underpins that research. Access to high-quality research and data is necessary for new knowledge creation and evidence-based decision making to drive forward transformative sustainability initiatives locally, regionally and globally. By 2030 the National Open Research Action Plan aims to have achieved a “mature ecosystem of infrastructure” to support responsible management and FAIR sharing of research data and other related outputs. This will require long term sustainability of research infrastructure through support for open research and research culture. Data Stewardship is one of the core expertise areas to deliver on this ambitious target as reflected in the Action 5 funding from the NORF Research Fund to establish a National Data Stewardship Network in Ireland. Data stewardship is a new and evolving skill set that is critical for the successful transition to an Open Research landscape, and the sustainability of that ecosystem.
This paper will present the results of the early research from Sonrai: the National Data Stewardship Network of Ireland on 1. the Irish, UK and European contexts for best practices at the institutional level for data stewardship 2. the institutional stakeholders involved in data stewardship 2. the positive impacts on researchers and research culture from a coherent national and organisational approach to this quickly emerging expertise area 3. Plans for the National Data Stewardship Network of Ireland. Discussion will also include demonstrated success stories pointing to the importance of core institutional and disciplinary knowledge and expertise on data stewardship as part of library or research infrastructures to build a strong and stable research culture around researchers that is a core part of the expert skill set of the organisation.