Research Data Management Policy and Practice in China

  • Yingshen Huang Peking University Health Science Library
  • Andrew Cox University of Sheffield
  • Laura Sbaffi University of Sheffield


On April 2, 2018, the State Council of China formally released a national research data management (RDM) policy “Measures for Managing Scientific Data”. Literature review shows that university libraries have played an important role in supporting Research Data Management at an institutional level in countries in North America, Europe and Australasia. The aim of this paper is to capture the current status of RDM in Chinese universities, in particular how university libraries have involved in taking the agenda forward.

This paper uses mixed methods: a website analysis of university policies and services; a questionnaire for university librarians; and semi-structured interviews. Findings from website analysis and questionnaires indicate that RDS at a local level in Chinese Universities are in their infancy. On the whole there is more evidence of activity in developing data repositories than support services. Despite the existence of a national policy there remain significant barriers to further service development, such as the lag in the creation of local policy, insufficient funding for technical infrastructure, shortages of staff skills in data curation, and language barriers to international data sharing and open science. RDS in Chinese university libraries are still lagging behind the English-speaking countries and Europe.

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