iridium – summary of online RDM requirements gathering survey findings

Quantitative online survey –  summary

Key Findings:

  • One hundred and twenty eight projects completed the online survey and over half of the projects are from the Faculty of Medical Sciences (nearly 52%).
  • Over 97% of projects’ data is in digital / physical format.
  • Generally projects have many files e.g. 23.4% of projects have between 100- 1000 files, 28.1% between 10-100 files and 19.5% have between 1000 – 10000 files.
  • Thirty one percent of projects’ files take up to 4GB of space. Just over 11% of projects’ files take up between 64 – 0.5TB. One project had more than 100TB, but no project required more than 1 PB.
  • For nearly 54% of projects space required at collection is greatly different from space required after processing / analysis. However for nearly 29% of projects the space was not greatly different.
  • There was lots of variability in data file format amongst projects. Some projects used many different file formats indeed. However Excel was the most common file format.
  • About 30% of projects said they store their data on ISS managed systems; about 18% of projects used academic unit managed systems and about 21% used personal systems. A small number of projects used external systems / services such as cloud and SurveyMonkey.
  • The majority of projects (nearly 43%) intend to keep data for 5 to 10 years. Just over 29% intend to keep data for 10 – 25 years and about 17% intend to keep data for more than 25 years. Eleven percent intends to keep data for 1 – 5 years.
  • 93% of projects have multiple copies / partial back up of data.
  • Nearly 49% of the projects have tested how successful it will be to retrieve backed up data.
  • Just over 73% of projects share their data with others within the University.
  • Just over 50% of projects share data externally.
  • Of 64 projects (50%) who share data external to the University nearly 30% don’t have any agreement in place while nearly 33% have other types of agreement not specified.
  • About 56% of projects have a data management plan or partial / informal plan.
  • Nearly 65% of projects don’t have any specific tool for RDM.
  • The majority (46%) of projects said that they do not have any deletion policy and just fewer than 17% have a deletion policy.
  • For over 75% of projects data have to be quite secure or very secure.
  • 84% of projects said they store their data quite securely or very securely.
  • Over 90% of projects used password, anonymisation or physical measures for data security.
  • Not many projects are aware of the policies and legislation that applies to their data e.g. only 63% of projects are aware of DPA and only 40% are aware of FOI.
  • 64% of projects said that the PI should have the primary responsibility for RDM support. Next in line was the Research Associate with just 11%.
  • 55% of projects believe that going forward the PI should still have the primary responsibility for RDM support. All the other officers got less than 10% of the vote except for computing support officer where just over 17% of projects think they should have the primary responsibility for RDM support.
  • Only 5 projects said they are aware of training sessions and materials on RDM.
  • 60% of projects gave a positive response to make their research data publicly available at the end of the project.
  • 73% of projects have not deposited any of their data in a data repository.
  • Nearly 60% of projects are willing to submit data to a data repository.
  • An overwhelming majority of projects (nearly 80%) are happy to submit data to a repository at the publication stage.
  • Nearly 41% of projects are willing to make data supporting any publication available immediately.
  • Nearly 73% of projects are willing to share data if they have control over who can access the data.
  • There is no clear consensus from projects on intellectual property rights (IPR), just over 30% of projects believe that it is owned by the University and about 17% of projects do not know; just over 19% think it belongs to their research group and 10.4% said other. For about 7% and 15% of projects it belonged to the funder and the researcher respectively.
  • The majority of projects were funded by either charity or research council 35.5% and 31.4% respectively, that is, a total of nearly 67%.

For more details, see full survey report:


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