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An Assessment of Doctoral Biomedical Student Research Data Management Needs
University of Massachusetts and New England Area Librarian e-Science Symposium
  • Kate Thornhill, Simmons College GSLIS
  • Lisa A. Palmer, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Start Date
9-4-2014 12:45 PM
Objective This analysis explores specific institutional repository (IR) data management needs of the University’s biomedical sciences doctoral students. Awareness, intentions, attitudes, and concerns about depositing, sharing and publishing supplemental ETD (electronic thesis and dissertation) research data into the library’s institutional repository eScholarship@UMMS were explored. Methods A data needs assessment survey focused around the Digital Curation Centre’s lifecycle model and National Science Foundation’s requirements for data management was sent to 470 students via a listserv. Information gathered from the survey and digital repository literature aided in the construction of an overarching student data curation profile and criteria for repository functionality to meet the needs of both researchers and the repository manager. Results Eighty-two biomedical PhD students responded to the data needs survey, a response rate of 17.4%. 69.5% were unaware that they had the option to deposit their research data sets into the IR. File format of data sets varied greatly but most common were TIFF, PDF, and JPG. 25.6% of respondents did not know the average size of their data sets. A network shared drive was the most common means of storing data (75.0%) but many used multiple methods. 96.0% reported using a metadata data entry standard developed by their lab. 13.9% stated they would not be willing to share data sets openly or publicly. Conclusion Responses from the survey and interviews suggest that an IR needs to be flexible to accommodate the research data needs of biomedical PhD students. Functionality to handle various file types, large files, and embargos is required. Education and outreach by library staff about the IR, data documentation, data sharing, and many facets of research data management would be useful. A broader environmental scan and further research are required to evaluate repository functionality in light of the needs of both researchers and the repository manager.
  • Biomedical doctoral students,
  • theses,
  • dissertations,
  • ETDs,
  • research data needs,
  • research data management,
  • surveys,
  • interviews,
  • institutional repositories (IRs)

This poster was awarded "Most Informative in Communicating e-Science Librarianship" at the 2014 e-Science Symposium.

This poster was also presented at the Medical Library Association 2014 Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL on May 18, 2014.

Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0
Citation Information
Kate Thornhill and Lisa A. Palmer. "An Assessment of Doctoral Biomedical Student Research Data Management Needs" (2014)
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