“You made it, you take care of itâ€: Data Management as Personal Information Management

Kathleen Fear


This study explores how researchers at a major Midwestern university are managing their data, as well as the factors that have shaped their practices and those that motivate or inhibit changes to that practice. A combination of survey (n=363) and interview data (n=15) yielded both qualitative and quantitative results bearing on my central research question: In what types of data management activities do researchers at this institution engage? Corollary to that, I also explored the following questions: What do researchers feel could be improved about their data management practices? Which services might be of interest to them? How do they feel those services could most effectively be implemented?

In this paper, I situate researchers’ data management practices within a theory of personal information management. I present a view of data management and preservation needs from researchers’ perspectives across a range of domains. Additionally, I discuss the implications that understanding research data management as personal information management has for introducing services to support and improve data management practice.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2218/ijdc.v6i2.190

The International Journal of Digital Curation. ISSN: 1746-8256
The IJDC is published by the University of Edinburgh
and is a publication of the Digital Curation Centre.