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Meeting the Digital Research Infrastructure Needs of the Canadian Research Community

The Digital Research Alliance of Canada (the Alliance) is very pleased to share Meeting the Digital Research Infrastructure Needs of the Canadian Research Community, a set of priorities for an equitable, sustainable and collaborative digital research infrastructure (DRI) ecosystem. 

Produced by the Alliance Researcher Council together with Alliance Senior Analysts, the priorities envision a new DRI system with a spectrum of accessible services that supports the breadth of Canada’s research disciplines and computational approaches, prioritizes Indigenous self-determination and data sovereignty, coordinates a robust national program of DRI education and training, and apportions resources transparently and equitably. This new DRI system will be key to addressing systemic barriers and biases in research and to supporting equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. 

The priorities focus on eight themes: 

  • National infrastructure 
  • Self-determination and data sovereignty for Indigenous Peoples in Canada 
  • Equity, diversity and inclusion 
  • Professional support personnel 
  • Research data management and stewardship practices 
  • Education and training 
  • Research software 
  • National and international engagement 

The priorities were established following extensive consultation with Canada's diverse research community including over 1000 researchers from across Canada. These consultative initiatives, known as the Canadian Digital Research Infrastructure Needs Assessment, resulted in three current state papers, 105 position papers, a national survey and a series of Town Hall meetings in English and French. 

Research in Canada is being transformed by the expanding scope and availability of DRI: the dynamic network of hardware, software, people, organizations, methods, practices, and services involved in creating and mobilizing knowledge. DRI is a catalyst for discovery and innovation and is critical to ensuring Canada's economic and social well-being. The priorities shed light on the needs of Canadian researchers and will help to shape the Alliance’s strategic plan and determine the investments for the first years of operation. 

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