Rsquared: researching the researchers. A study into how researchers at the University of New South Wales use and share research data

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Research data management in libraries in the past focused on the published output at the end of the research cycle. We are now of the age of data driven scholarship. E-scholarship (not just e-science) is predicated on data organisation, management, use and reuse. We now need to become more involved with the management (describing and making accessible) of research data itself. To support our researchers we must understand what services are needed to support e-research. This paper presents the findings of a research study of data usage, creation and sharing within different research communities at UNSW. The study identifies emerging data usage and management needs within the e-research life cycle of diverse research communities. Comparison is made with the outcomes of other studies that have examined e-researcher work practices in relation to their data. The paper examines the findings to understand what role researchers see libraries having, and discusses the development of a framework that libraries can use to support the curation and management of data, and the development of tools and library support services that can be used across disciplines. The study addressed the following: • What are the existing data use, storage and sharing practices of academics at UNSW? • What are the differences and similarities between disciplines andfields of research? • What are the differences between project types (e.g.multidisciplinary, cross institutional)? Using a mixed-methods research design, data from focus groups was used to construct an online survey followed by interviews with selected survey participants to extend and provide in-depth understandings of data from the survey. The study was carried out by the Library Repository Services unit (LRS) which was established in 2007. Initially charged with designing and building the UNSW institutional repository, LRS now leads the Library’s research data management services and contributes to the University’s e-research coordinating group. LRS services support the library as a partner and collaborator in the e-research space where the description, management, use and reuse of data in all its forms (primary, secondary, interpreted, analysed and published) is provided.
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Amos, Howard
Frances, Maude
Ruthven, Tom
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UNSW Faculty
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