The diverse nature of research makes identifying needs and providing support for data management a complex task in an academic setting. To better understand this diversity, we compare the findings from three surveys on research data management delivered to faculty across 104 departments in the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus. Each survey was separately run in the Medical School, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences and the College of Science & Engineering and modified to use language that paralleled the different cultural understandings of research and data across these disciplines. Our findings reveal common points of need, such as a desire for more data management support across the research life cycle, with the strongest needs related to preparing data for sharing, data preservation, and data dissemination. However, the results also reveal striking differences across the disciplines in attitudes and perceptions toward data management, awareness of existing requirements, and community expectations. These survey results can be used by others to demonstrate that a one-size-fits-all approach to supporting data management is not appropriate for a large research university and that the services developed should be sensitive to discipline-specific research practices and perceived needs.
Poster presented at the 2015 International Association for Social Science Information Services & Technology (IASSIST) Conference, Minneapolis, MN.
Hofelich Mohr, Alicia; Braun, Steven; Bishoff, Carolyn; Bishoff, Josh; Johnston, Lisa R.
Understanding Researcher Needs in Data Management: A Comparison of Four Colleges in a Large American University.
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