The authors conducted six focus group semi-structured interviews consisting of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers within the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in order to understand their roles within research groups and their ability to manage research data. More specifically, participants were asked how they manage, organize, and describe data, as well as the challenges they face in these activities. This study revealed graduate students primarily discuss managing research data in terms of the software they use and that their focus is task specific. Additionally, the language and concepts librarians use in conversations about data management creates a barrier to understanding for graduate students. This study confirms that there is a significant disconnect between the faculty members who design and direct research projects and the graduate students and postdoctoral researchers that do the front-line work. This study helped identify that more data management engagement, interaction, and instruction within research groups is needed. Acknowledging this will allow librarians to develop more meaningful data management instruction and enhance the research data support services provided to faculty.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Engineering (miscellaneous)
- Library and Information Sciences