Open Collections

UBC Library and Archives

Research Data Management Survey : Science and Engineering Barsky, Eugene 2015

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
494-Barsky_Eugene_Research_management_science_engineering.pdf [ 865.96kB ]
Metadata
JSON: 494-1.0348069.json
JSON-LD: 494-1.0348069-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 494-1.0348069-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 494-1.0348069-rdf.json
Turtle: 494-1.0348069-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 494-1.0348069-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 494-1.0348069-source.json
Full Text
494-1.0348069-fulltext.txt
Citation
494-1.0348069.ris

Full Text

Research Data Management Survey - Science and Engineering   Fall 2015  By Eugene Barsky, Research Data Librarian, ​eugene.barsky@ubc.ca   Executive Summary   Background In 2015, the Tri-Council funding agencies announced the intention to release guidelines requiring Research Data Management plans for grant applications soon. In preparation to support researchers facing new requirements, UBC librarians surveyed faculty from Engineering, Natural and Physical Sciences in June and July, 2015, to determine both the actual practices of research data management (RDM) employed by these researchers and areas where the researchers would like help. The results of this survey can assist the University in making evidence-based decisions to direct its expertise to support and assist faculty in improving their data management to meet new requirements from funding bodies.  Findings Researchers are collecting and working with a very wide variety of types of data ranging from numerical and text data to multimedia files, software, instrument specific data, geospatial data and other types of data.  Faculty identified areas for which they would like additional help and support within 3 broad themes: 1. Storage (including preservation and sharing) 2. Data Management Plans 3. Metadata and DOIs  The Library and campus partners have opportunities, as identified by researchers in this survey, to bolster research excellence through strong Research Data Management supports.  Recommendations: 1. The Library continues to work with VPRI ARC, Office of Research Services, IT Services and other campus partners to plan and coordinate services for researchers around the management of research data. 2. UBC implement a program to inform all new and existing researchers of the research data management supports available to them to ensure strong research data management plans are included in research grant funding proposals. 3. UBC ensure robust infrastructure is available to researchers to store, preserve, and share their research data.  Conclusions  With more detailed statistical analysis coming soon, we could see that respondents  indicated that they need assistance with storage and security of research data, with crafting  data management plans, with centralized research data repository and with workshops  1 about research data best practices for faculty and especially for graduate students. Further,  understanding the particular needs or habits within specific research areas can provide  insight into how disciplines think about and work with data. Finally, a greater awareness of  perceived barriers and benefits can enable targeted conversations. These results can assist  the library and other campus partners with the development of a strategic direction for  research data management support. Introduction​: Increasingly, public funding agencies as well as publishers are developing policies around data management, sharing, and preservation. These policies have the potential to impact researchers’ research data management (RDM) practices.  In the US, funding mandates require that research groups have a research data management plan (DMPs) in order to secure funding. Similar mandates by Tri-Council funding agencies are expected in Canada later this year (2015), following the ​Draft Tri-Agency Statement of Principles on Digital Data Management - http://www.science.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=547652FB-1​ ​.   In order to create services that reflect the needs of our faculty, librarians in the University of British Columbia administered a survey to all ranks of the Faculty of Applied Science and Faculty of Science to determine researchers’ practices and attitudes toward storing and sharing their research data.  This survey covered typical aspects of RDM and provides a benchmark to measure progress against the expected ​Tri-Agency Statement on research data​.  The survey served multiple purposes: 1. To baseline current RDM practices; 2. To gather the researchers’ requirements for RDM; and 3. Raise awareness for the prospective service and gauge interest levels for the proposed library role in research data management. Methodology: The survey questions were based upon the University of Toronto RDM survey, thereby allowing comparative analysis across institutions if required. This research group has surveyed all ranks of engineering, natural and physical sciences faculty at the University of British Columbia (UBC) to understand their research data management (RDM) and research data sharing practices.  We sent an electronic survey via email to the UBC faculty in the science and engineering departments. The faculty had 3 weeks to complete the survey, which they could do from any 2 location with an internet connection. Completing the survey was entirely voluntary. Surveyed faculty also had the option to provide contact information to facilitate future collaborations but they were not required to do so.   The survey instrument consisted of twenty nine questions in total. These included questions seeking demographic information, with a number of questions gathering richer data depending upon prior answers. Questions were multiple-choice (one answer), multiple-choice (multiple answers) and free comment. The analysis carried out upon completion was both qualitative and quantitative. The survey was available online at ​https://survey.ubc.ca/s/rdm/​ from ​Monday, 15 June, 2015 till ​Friday, 3 July, 2015.  Results: Participants: Altogether 100 people responded to the survey. Most of the survey responses came from ongoing faculty members, with 33 percent being Full Professors and 23.7 percent being Assistant or Associate Professors; 21.6 percent were postdoctoral fellows.   Departments: The survey participants come from a wide range of the physical, natural and applied sciences in UBC, with the majority of responses coming from Vancouver’s campus physical sciences, as following: 3  How many research projects researchers are involved in:  The researchers have a number of projects on the go, with 59 percent having more than 3 projects during the last year: 4   Funding/Grants: It was anticipated that most researchers receive various NSERC funds, but there is a variety of other funding that our researchers are receiving, including industry grants, CFI, and Canadian Space Agency: 5   Now, to the essence of the survey, let’s take a look on the data questions: How much data: Planning for possible infrastructure needs is another consideration. We have expected that most researchers do not work with large datasets, and indeed only around 18 percent create more than 1TB in their work: 6  Type of research data: Focusing on the sciences and engineering faculty we were not surprised to see the emphasis on numerical data, with 73.5 percent of our researchers working with this type of research data. However, we were surprised to see 66.3 percent mentioning text data, and almost 44 percent working with multimedia formats as following:   Where do you keep your data/storage: Our results indicate they use a variety of storage options. We were not surprised to see almost 50 percent of the researchers using commercial cloud services, e.g. Amazon or Dropbox to keep 7 their data. It was also very obvious that computer hard drives (71 percent) and external hard drives (64 percent) are the most popular storing media for research data.   Metadata/data documentation: It seems that our researchers are divided about the quality of their metadata documentation, with 32.9 percent being happy with metadata practices and 36.1 percent not:   8 Sharing Data: How do you currently share: The vast majority of our respondees are sharing data if someone is asking them for it - 66.3 percent. And 38 percent include the data when publishing their work in a journal. Moreover, 27.4 percent upload their data to a repository. Only 12.6 percent are not currently sharing their data in any way:   Embargoes or why not sharing their data: Researchers need to publish their research and get credit for it before sharing their data, with 45.8 percent of the responders mentioning this issue. However, 35.4 percent of our researchers don’t see a reason not to share their data. Moreover, many researchers have intellectual property issues with their data, willing to file a patent or have contractual obligations with a third party: 9   Willing to share: Most of our researchers are willing to share their data if not affected by restrictions or embargoes, with 53 percent willing to share with general public and 51 percent with immediate collaborators. 25.5 percent are also willing to share within their research institution - UBC. Remarkably, only 2 percent are not willing to share their data! 10     Reasons for not sharing data: Most researchers wouldn’t share data because they feel that it is not complete or finished yet - 47.4 percent. Moreover, 33.7 percent feel that they can derive more value from the data before sharing it. Also, around 10 percent feel that there is no place to put their data to be shared:    Benefits for sharing data: 11 Not surprisingly, most of our researchers (79.4 percent) feel that sharing their data enhances reproducible and collaborative science. Many researchers have very favourable opinions to open data: 64 percent feel that sharing data moves their research field forward; 60 percent feel that sharing data helps to train new scientists; and 58 percent feel that sharing data helps to increase their research impact:   Data Management Plans: Data management plans typically address questions about research data types and formats; standards to be used for describing data; ethics and legal compliance. When asked whether ​the rese​archers could draft a data management plan as part of a grant application, 43 percent felt that they could do it themselves, while 42 percent would prefer assistance: 12   Library/Institutional assistance: If data management plans were made part of grant applications from funding bodies such as NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR, our researchers have expressed the following needs for assistance: Over 50% of survey participants responded that they would be interested or very interested in all of the services proposed, with the exception of a service to assist with the digitization of physical records such as lab notebooks (47 percent). The services that received the highest percentage of “interested” or “very interested” responses combined were “assistance preparing data management plans to meet funding requirements, or assistance creating formal or documented data management policies” and “an institutional repository for long-term access and preservation of research data”. 74 percent of all respondents indicated that they would be interested or very interested in assistance with DMPs, and 71 percent indicated they would be interested in data storage and backup services. 70 percent expressed an interest in w​orkshops on best practices in data management for graduate students. Moreover 73 percent expressed an interest in an institutional repository for long-term access and preservation of research data. ​These results may give some guidance on what services to prioritize if DMP requirements are enacted by the TC3+ 13  Conclusions:  With more detailed statistical analysis coming soon, we could see that respondents indicated that they need assistance with storage and security of research data, with crafting data management plans, with centralized research data repository and with workshops about research data best practices for faculty and especially for graduate students. Further, understanding the particular needs or habits within specific research areas can provide insight into how disciplines think about and work with data. Finally, a greater awareness of perceived barriers and benefits can enable targeted conversations. These results can assist the library and other campus partners with the development of a strategic direction for research data management support.  14 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.494.1-0348069/manifest

Comment

Related Items