Online survey closed

As we have blogged previously we launched an online survey as part of our research into how research data is managed at Exeter. This has now closed and we are delighted with the number of respondents: 284 in total.

Encouragingly we have had a large number of responses from all of the academic colleges at Exeter so this will enable our conclusions to be as inclusive as possible. Additionally, only 45% of our respondents were PGR students and nearly 10% were professors. Covering the full spectrum of researchers will also enable us to focus our outputs.

Very initial analysis of the survey has thrown up a number of headline results which will affect how we progress on the project:

  1. Over half the respondents stated that they used sensitive or confidential data. 64% of these were under legal obligations to keep it secure.
  2. Almost a third of respondents are not currently working on an externally funded project.
  3. Over 60% of respondents had non-electronic research data (lab-books, article notes etc.).
  4. 135 respondents backed up to an External Hard Drive (although more analysis needs to take place to see how many only back up to one device).
  5. 64% shared research data.
  6. 8% had completed a data management plan.
  7. 11% were aware of any requirements of their funder to make their research data available via Open Access.
  8. Nearly 50% said that they would be willing to be contacted for a follow up interview.

These interviews are now taking place. We have already interviewed around 30 researchers and have more in our calendars. These are proving very useful and the engagement of the research community has been encouraging. We could not have accomplished what we have done without their help and support.

I would hope to have a draft of the written report completed by the end of the month so will be able to blog some more in-depth findings then. If anyone has any comments on these initial findings I would be interested to hear them. Are they similar to what other projects are finding?

Posted under Follow the Data, Online survey

This post was written by Gareth Cole on April 2, 2012

1 Comment so far

  1. Sian Dodd April 12, 2012 12:25

    Hi Gareth – really interesting and representative. Are you able to share the survey questions? Here at Oxford we’re interviewing a handful of researchers at this stage to feed into the RDM roadmap for the EPSRC. Keen to potentially roll out something broader though after May that will help us focus our outputs. Many thanks.

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