Following the starting phase data inventory, a MILDRED survey was sent in summer 2016 to all UH researchers in order to chart the current data repository services use situation. The focus was in data created by researchers; data acquisition practices were left out at this point. A delightful amount of 260 answers were gathered. What’s more, all three major disciplinary families, life sciences, humanities and social sciences, and natural sciences, were well represented. 62 % of the participants represented life sciences, 21 % humanities and social sciences and 17 % natural sciences.
The survey consisted of tick box alternatives of repositories followed by open explanation space for reasons for not using a repository. Participants were also asked to elaborate what kind of storage and depositing solutions they had instead of digital repositories. Responses showed that as many as 56 % of the participants did not have their data deposited in any specific digital repository, whereas 43 % used one or more repositories. 21 % had their data in two or more and 10 % in three or more repositories. The most widely used services included e.g. GenBank, Gene Expression Omnibus, GitHub, and Sequence Read Archive, which were each used by more than 10 % of respondents. Among these, code service GitHub is multidisciplinary, whereas the other three maintain and preserve mostly publicly available specific data such as genetic sequences. 4 % of respondents had data in the Finnish Social Sciences Data Archive, and GitHub was frequently represented in responses from the natural sciences.
On the other hand, 68 % of all respondents had data stored also on personal computer hard drive, 58 % on external hard drives, and 54 % on the UH network hard drive. Commercial cloud services such as Dropbox and SugarSync were currently used by 34 % of respondents. 19 % of participants had deposited data on CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd.’s platforms.
Lack of specific knowledge was stated as the most common reason for not using existing digital repositories. Data sensitivity was a crucial issue for 11 % of respondents, and other 11 % did not consider the depositing theme relevant for their field of work. 8 % gave small amounts of produced data as one more reason. 8, 5 % considered repositories generally needless. However, only 4, 6 % of participants explicitly stated that the current university and other existing hard drive resources are sufficient in data management. A wish for information and guidance about depositing possibilities and best practices was frequently expressed.
Anonymised version of the survey report will be shared in Figshare by September 1, 2016.
Warm thanks once more for all survey responses! Knowledge about current research data management practices in the UH forms a valuable framework for further planning of optimal tools and services for supporting the management and use as well as discoverability and shareability of UH research data resources. The work continues.
Salmi, Anna; Ojanen, Mikko; Kuusniemi, Mari Elisa (2016): Project MILDRED Research Data Repository Survey, University of Helsinki. figshare.
Retrieved: 11 51, Oct 12, 2016 (GMT)