Course Syllabus

This course on Research Data Management (RDM) has been developed for undergraduate and graduate level students in the sciences, health sciences, and engineering disciplines. The curriculum has been designed as a series of seven course modules, which will be delivered here in seven weekly hour-long sessions to be held on campus.

The course is presented as a pilot of the curriculum developed by the New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum, http://library.umassmed.edu/necdmc/index.*

Each of the course modules addresses one or more of the following components of the National Science Foundation's requirement for Data Management Plans (DMPs) for NSF-funded research projects:

1. the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other 
materials to be produced in the course of the project; 

2. the standards to be used for data and metadata format and content (where existing 
standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should be documented along with any 
proposed solutions or remedies); 

3. physical and/or cyber resources and facilities (including third party resources) [that]will 
be used to store and preserve the data; 

4. policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, 
confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements; 

5. policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; 

6. plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of 
access to them.


The New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum (NECDMC) project is led by the Lamar Soutter Library at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in partnership with libraries from the Marine Biological Laboratory and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Northeastern University, Tufts University, and University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

NECDMC is an instructional tool for teaching data management best practices to undergraduates, graduate students, and researchers in the health sciences, sciences, and engineering disciplines. Each of the curriculum’s six online instructional modules aligns with the National Science Foundation’s data management plan recommendations and addresses universal data management challenges. Included in the curriculum is a collection of actual research cases that provides a discipline specific context to the content of the instructional modules. These cases come from a range of research settings such as clinical research, biomedical labs, an engineering project, and a qualitative behavioral health study. Additional research cases will be added to the collection on an ongoing basis. Each of the modules can be taught as a stand-alone class or as part of a series of classes. Instructors are welcome to customize the content of the instructional modules to meet the learning needs of their students and the policies and resources at their institutions.

Built upon the Frameworks of a Data Management Curriculum developed by the Lamar Soutter Library and the George C. Gordon Library at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the NECDMC is designed to address present and future researchers’ data management learning needs.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due