Researchers at Arab Universities Hold Positive Views on Research Data Management and Data Sharing
A Review of:
Elsayed, A. M., & Saleh, E. I. (2018). Research data management and sharing among researchers in Arab universities: An exploratory study. IFLA Journal, 44(4), 281–299. https://doi.org/10.1177/0340035218785196
Objective – To investigate researchers’ practices and attitudes regarding research data management and data sharing.
Design – Email survey.
Setting – Universities in Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.
Subjects – Surveys were sent to 4,086 academic faculty researchers.
Methods – The survey was emailed to faculty at three Arab universities, targeting faculty in the life sciences and engineering. The survey was created using Google Docs and remained open for five months. Participants were asked basic demographic questions, questions regarding their research data and metadata practices, and questions regarding their data sharing practices.
Main Results – The authors received 337 responses, for a response rate of 8%. The results showed that 48.4% of respondents had a data management plan and that 97% were responsible for preserving their own data. Most respondents stored their research data on their personal storage devices. The authors found that 64.4% of respondents reported sharing their research data. Respondents most frequently shared their data by publishing in a data research journal, sharing through academic social networks such as ResearchGate, and providing data upon request to peers. Only 5.1% of respondents shared data through an open data repository. Of those who did not share data, data privacy and confidentiality were the most common reasons cited. Of the respondents who did share their data, contributing to scientific progress and increased citation and visibility were the primary reasons for doing so. A total of 59.6% of respondents stated that they needed more training in research data management from their universities.
Conclusion – The authors conclude that researchers at Arab universities are still primarily responsible for their own data and that data management planning is still a new concept to most researchers. For the most part, the researchers had a positive attitude toward data sharing, although depositing data in open repositories is still not a widespread practice. The authors conclude that in order to encourage strong data management practices and open data sharing among Arab university researchers, more training and institutional support is needed.
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Copyright (c) 2020 Jennifer Kaari
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