The full report can be found on the SURF Foundation site.
A review of literature describing what researchers want with regard to storage of and access to research data
This publication reviews recent literature describing what researchers want with regard to data storage and access. It was commissioned by SURFfoundation. Fifteen recent sources were studied, covering the Netherlands, the UK, the USA, Australia, and Europe.
The main findings of the review are that researchers can benefit from support services in managing their digital data, although these services must meet a number of requirements if they are to be successful. Although there are major differences in the way disciplines conduct their research, there are also common factors across disciplines when it comes to research data storage and access.
The following factors play a role in making storage successful:
- Tools and services must be in tune with researchers’ workflows, which are often discipline-specific and sometimes even project-specific
- Researchers resist top-down and/or mandatory schemes.
- Researchers favour a “cafeteria” model in which they can pick and choose from a set of services.
- Tools and services must be easy to use.
- Researchers must be in control of what happens to their data, who has access to it, and under what conditions. Consequently, they want to be sure that whoever is dealing with their data data centre, library, etc. will respect their interests.
- Researchers expect tools and services to support their day-to-day work within the research project; long-term/public requirements must be subordinate to that interest.
- The benefits of the support must clearly visible – not in three years’ time, but now.
- Support must be local, hands-on, and available when needed.