Archiving of publicly funded research data: A survey of Canadian researchers.

TitleArchiving of publicly funded research data: A survey of Canadian researchers.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsPerry, C.
JournalGovernment Information Quarterly
Pagination133 - 148
Date Published2008///
Keywordsaid, civilization, data-sharing, finance, grants, humanism, humanity, in, public, publicly-funded-research, sg_data_archiving, sg_data_deposit, sg_data_funding, sg_data_survey

Abstract: During the 2004–2005 fiscal year, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) awarded $252,654,341.97 in grant money to 6,958 research initiatives submitted by Canadian researchers working in academic settings. The results of these initiatives are reported in published papers, books, articles, and other forums. A question of concern is how much of the data being produced in the course of this research is being archived? What are the attitudes and concerns of the researchers themselves towards ensuring their work is preserved for the future? Results indicate that Canadian researchers in the humanities and social sciences actively share data. On the whole they are supportive of initiatives to preserve data but have thus far not systematically ensured preservation of their research materials. Researchers expressed concern over issues of confidentiality in providing access to their research data. Further dialogue is needed between researchers and other


Gap Area Study Type:

To assess researchers’ attitudes and behaviours in relation to archiving research data and to determine researchers’ views about policies relating to data archiving. Investigated how much of the data being produced in the course of SSHRC-funded research is being archived. Surveyed social sciences and humanities researchers from universities across Canada.
A questionnaire comprising 15 questions was mailed to 175 researchers randomly sampled from a publicly available list of 5,821 individuals who had received grants and awards from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). From this sample, 75 (43.4%) responded within the five week time-frame stipulated. The questionnaire was constructed using four existing surveys and asked researchers for information about: geographical location, years of research experience, research funding sources, current plans to archive research data, awareness of archiving policies, attitude to mandated research data archiving, effect of mandatory data archiving policies on grant-seeking, attitude to making archived research data accessible, and use of research data collected by others. The questionnaire also included space for respondents to make comments.
Plans to archive research data Only 41.3% of the respondent sample had current plans to archive their research data; plans that included filing materials in their office and destroying materials. A small proportion of this group (18.7%) planned to archive their research data in an established repository. Respondents who planned to archive their research data were more likely to have received funding from other government agencies (64.7%) than respondents who had not received other government funding (23.5%). Examination of the comments made by respondents indicated those who planned to archive their data were more likely to make comments on this issue.