Document Type


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Medical Library Association annual meeting

Conference Location

Boston, Ma


Objectives Several funding agencies including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) require or encourage developing data management plans for research. This study assesses the data management needs across campus. Information gained will help coordinate services across campus to support effective data stewardship throughout the research life cycle and help increase visibility and accessibility of research data produced at the University.

Methods A mixed-mode survey methodology involving web-based questionnaires and face-to-face interviewing was used. A questionnaire was developed specifically for this study with inputs from multiple stakeholders on campus such at the campus IT service. The questions have been pre-tested by several researchers from multiple disciplines on campus and will soon be distributed via campus mass email to all researchers on campus. Efforts to encourage participation and increase the response rate will be made, such as pre-notification emails from each college dean to its researchers. The online survey will identify potential participants for the face-to-face interviewing. Results will also inform the development of questions for the semi-structured interviewing.

Results The survey received a total of 784 responses, both partial and complete. A total of 183 respondents are willing to be interviewed at a later time. Key findings and observations include: 1) Researchers generate data in a wide range of formats, and most work with two or more; 2) nearly one quarter of respondents report writing data management plans as part of their funding requirements; 3) over one third of respondents report not receiving assistance with data management; and 4) availability of storage is a concern for many researchers.

Conclusions The survey results illustrate a range of needs across the University's disciplinary spectrum as well as a view into current services, both internal and external, that researchers consult to meet those needs. Future interviews will explore each area of data management in depth to learn how researchers find assistance, where they would prefer to receive assistance, their level of satisfaction with services they receive, and their awareness of existing available services.


© 2013 Xiaomei Gu, Shawn Averkamp and Linda J. Walton