Between administration and research: Understanding data management practices in a mid-sized technical university

Stefan Egon Reichmann*, Thomas Klebel, Ilire Hasani-Mavriqi, Anthony Ross-Hellauer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Non-print formWebsite / Web publication

Abstract

Research Data Management (RDM) promises to make research outputs more transparent, findable, and reproducible. Strategies to streamline data management across disciplines are of key importance. This paper presents the results of an institutional survey (N=258) at Graz University of Technology, supplemented with interview data (N=18), to give an overview of the state-of-play of RDM practices across faculties and disciplinary contexts. RDM services are on the rise but remain somewhat behind leading countries like the Netherlands and UK, showing only the beginnings of a culture attuned to RDM. There is considerable variation between faculties and institutes with respect to data amounts, complexity of data sets, data collection and analysis, and data archiving. Data sharing practices within fields tend to be inconsistent. RDM is predominantly regarded as an administrative task, to the detriment of considerations of good research practice. Problems with RDM fall in two categories: Generic problems transcend specific research interests, infrastructures, and departments while discipline-specific problems need a more targeted approach. The paper extends the state-of-the-art on RDM practices by combining in-depth qualitative material with quantified, detailed data about RDM practices and needs. The findings should be of interest to any comparable research institution with a similar agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOnline
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2020

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