On 3–4 June SND held the second network meeting for 2019, this time hosted by University of Gävle. The meeting had a total of 57 participants from 27 of the network members, and lasted for two half days of presentations and discussions on the theme “Our work with researchers”. Among the presenters were Malin Almstedt Jansson and Karin Meyer Lundén, librarians and hosts for the network meeting, who introduced the results of a questionnaire that had been sent to researchers at University of Gävle. We managed to get hold of Malin and Karin for a brief chat.
Malin and Karin tell us that the initiative to a researcher questionnaire came from the University of Gävle DAU, or the Research Data Support (Forskningsdatasupporten), as they are called. The main purpose was to explore researchers’ routines for data management and their attitudes to sharing and re-using other researchers’ data. The questionnaire was sent to 490 researchers, and 135 of them replied (a 28% response rate).
Can you tell us a little bit more about the questionnaire?
–Our objective was to gain information so that we can improve the management of research data at University of Gävle. We wanted to get an overview of how researchers work with data management and hints as to how this work may change in the future. Some broad themes of the questionnaire were data types, data storage, data sharing, and the use of other researchers’ data. We were also interested in finding out what knowledge our researchers have in matters such as archival questions and agreement demands.
Did you get the replies you had expected?
–Yes and no, you might say. Many of the researchers had a more positive attitude to sharing data than we had expected, which we could tell from the comments about how good it is that these questions are addressed. But it is worth remembering that those who reply to this kind of questionnaire tend to be the people who are the most positive and the most negative to the questions.
Did you learn something new?
–The most important thing is that there are so many positive aspects and possibilities in these kinds of issues. Something to consider is that it was good to allow for quite a lot of free text and comments in the questionnaire. The numbers alone wouldn’t have given us as much information. But there seems to be a widely held opinion among researchers that they can consider sharing data under certain conditions.
Data management plans, domain specialists, and discussions
During the first day of the network meeting there were a few more presentations. Dejan Vitlacil from SNIC presented “Storage infrastructure and FAIR”, and Sanja Halling from the Swedish Research Council gave an update on recent developments in the work with a national tool for data management plans. Stefan Ekman and Gustav Nilsonne, SND Domain Specialists in the Humanities and Medicine, respectively, outlined the role of the domain specialist and gave a brief presentation of the development in their research domains. The participants also received a status update from SND, where director Max Petzold and deputy director Elisabeth Strandhagen gave an overview of the most recent activities in the organisation and new projects in SND.
Day two contained parallel sessions, which the participants could choose between out of interest and involvement. The alternatives were ”Forskningsdatapiloten – erfarenheter & diskussion” (The research data pilot – experiences and discussion), ”Forskares (o)kunskap: hur vet vi vad de kan om datahantering?” (How do we know what researchers (don’t) know about data management?), ”Utforska resurserna i DAU-handboken” (Exploring the resources in the DAU Handbook), and ”Innehåll i framtida utbildningsworkshoppar?” (What to address in future training workshops?).