A survey of medical researchers indicates poor awareness of research data management processes and a role for data librarians – Milewska – – Health Information & Libraries Journal – Wiley Online Library

Abstract:  Background

The European Parliament’s directive on open data indicates the direction to follow for all public institutions in Europe. The portal Polish Platform of Medical Research (PPM) required more information about researcher attitudes and training requirements for strategic planning.

Objectives

The aim was to assess (1) the status of knowledge about research data management among medical researchers in Poland, and (2) their attitudes towards data sharing. This knowledge may help to inform a training program and adapt PPM to the requirements of researchers.

Methods

The authors circulated an online survey and received responses from 603 researchers representing medical sciences and related disciplines. The survey was conducted in 2019 at seven Polish medical universities and at the Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine. Analysis used descriptive statistics.

Results

Data sharing was not widespread (55.7% only shared with their research team, 9.8% had shared data on an open access basis). Many cited possible benefits of research data sharing but were concerned about drawbacks (e.g. fraud, plagiarism).

Discussion

Polish medical scientists, like many researchers, are not aware of the processes required for safe data preparation for sharing. Academic libraries should develop roles for data librarians to help train researchers.

Conclusion

Fears about the dangers of data sharing need to be overcome before researchers are willing to share their own research data.

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