ASIS&T 2014 Annual Meeting 
Seattle, WA | October 31 - November 5, 2014

Where Does All the Data Go: Quantifying the Final Disposition of Research Data

Stacy T. Kowalczyk
Dominican University, United States of America

Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2:00pm


This paper describes the results of a large survey designed to quantify the final disposition of research data and to determine the extent that the key factors of repository technologies and data management resources influence the decisions that researchers make about their data. A total of 897 National Science Foundation awardees responded to this survey. Removable media devices such as CDs, DVDs, and removable hard drives are the most common storage technologies. Less than 30% of researchers use community or reference repositories. More than half of the researchers get storage through their institutions. Institutional support for storage is significantly higher than for data management. The key finding of this research is that the availability of resources is the most significant indicator of whether the final deposition of data is in a preservation-worthy manner. Resources, provided by the research institution or via grant funding, include storage technologies, repository systems, and data management personnel. When high quality data storage is offered, researchers will use it. When professional data managers are available, data is more likely to be stored in more sustainable technologies.