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Published April 27, 2015 | Version v3.0.0
Conference Poster Open

Disciplinary Perceptions of Data and Data Management Practices


Poster presented at the Medical Library Association 2015 annual conference. Poster was created from data collected in a survey of Northwestern University researchers from all disciplines across all schools in early 2015.


Data storage requirements and management services are topics of interest in academic libraries and computing centers. Many academic institutions' libraries have undertaken surveys of faculty in an effort to determine attitudes and needs for data storage and management. Our institution's E-Science Working Group conducted a similar survey, extending it beyond faculty to also include graduate students, post-doctorates and research staff. A survey of data management practices across the entire university including all disciplines was designed in late 2013 using Qualtrics survey software. The survey was distributed via email link to approximately 12,900 email addresses at the university in January 2014 and was closed in February 2014. The group analyzed the results in spring 2014 utilizing Atlas.ti and Qualtrics analytics. The survey received 831 responses with 788 responders completing the survey. Results reveal that users at Northwestern University are uncertain of how much data storage they will need in the future, have a strong desire for instruction and services surrounding data management practices and that there is a trend toward a data sharing culture at the institution. Based on analysis of the data management survey, it appears that there is no consensus on exactly how to store, share or manage data. Even more striking is the observation that the understanding of what constitutes "data" can be widely interpreted, depending on academic discipline.


presentation_location: Austin, Texas, United States


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March 30, 2023
March 30, 2023