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Survey closed – first results

The NFDI community survey is closed now.  The results were incorporated in the recent proposal for financial support of the NFDI Neuroscience –  they helped to pinpoint the tasks of the initiative and streamline our mission. A more extensive analysis will be published soon.

A first analysis of the survey shows a generally positive view on sharing and re-using data, and research data management (see fig. 1). A majority agrees that shared data could be beneficial for scientific progress. That applied for using data from repositories for own questions as well as the potential for their own data as source for questions of other scientists. Overall, research data management is associated with an increase of quality of research output and considered as booster for collaborative projects.

Fig 1: N is the number of answers received for the respective questions. Elements of this graph are part of the NFDI-Neuro proposal.

However, in practice data sharing and research data management seem not that straightforward to implement (see fig. 2). Working up data takes a lot of time and staff, especially when provision demands differ. Such differences may arise for example through different data types or the goal of research data management – should the data be published or just kept for close collaborators? Almost half of the participants did not get training on research data management during their undergraduate studies – and the need for proper training was raised in different comments within this survey.

Fig. 2: In daily practice with RDM and shared data, problems arise.

On the topic of education, one participant contributed the following statement:

We need introduce such [training] tools on the student level, not on the level of experienced data analysis or simulation scientists that know at least 3 programming languages on Linux platforms. Data management needs to start along the interests and boundary conditions of researchers acquiring and (re-)analyzing their own data (BSc, MSc PhD students) [, …]

Besides expressed demands for more training, the community was asked to rank the five most pressing issues, to be addressed by NFDI Neuroscience (fig. 3).

Fig. 3: The most pressing issues as ranked by the community.

We will take these issues into account when picking up the work program for the initiative.

Thanks to everybody who participated in the survey! For any further comments or contributions, don’t hesitate to contact the coordination team via e-mail to info (at) nfdi-neuro (dot) de.


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