Vol. 9 No.1 (2024)

Understanding the legal framework in Research Data Management: a study of selected academic libraries in Kenya

Pauline Ruguru Njagi
Kenyatta University

Gitau Njoroge
Kenyatta University

Ronald Bituka
Kenyatta University


Rationale of Study – The study focused on the legal framework instrumental in protecting research participants' rights and interests. It also sought to identify potential legal risks and recommend strategies to mitigate them, promote ethical conduct, and enhance security for data reuse and sharing.

Methodology – The study used a quantitative research design to gather quantifiable data. The target population was academic librarians and executive library users from Kenyatta and Egerton University. A total of 35 participants participated in the study. Structured open-ended questionnaires were used to obtain responses from participants purposively selected.

Findings – The study revealed that academic institutions have policies. However, to maintain a healthy research ecosystem that facilitates accessibility, interdisciplinary collaboration, knowledge transmission, and data sharing, academic libraries need to implement research data management policies that match open science standards, such as promoting reuse in the context of adherence to intellectual property rights and security of sensitive data.

Implications – The study sheds light on issues and legal concerns addressed or should be addressed by research data management policies adoption or being prepared for adoption in academic libraries. Its issues are intellectual property, protection of data against security breaches, terms and conditions regarding data use, and protection of sensitive data confidentiality.

Originality – The paper shed light on research data management policy, precisely the issues which should be included in the policy, as well as legal concerns.


Research data management, policy issues, policy legal concerns