Doctoral Students' Educational Needs in Research Data Management: Perceived Importance and Current Competencies

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Sound research data management (RDM) competencies are elementary tools used by researchers to ensure integrated, reliable, and re-usable data, and to produce high quality research results. In this study, 35 doctoral students and faculty members were asked to self-rate or rate doctoral students’ current RDM competencies and rate the importance of these competencies. Structured interviews were conducted, using close-ended and open-ended questions, covering research data lifecycle phases such as collection, storing, organization, documentation, processing, analysis, preservation, and data sharing. The quantitative analysis of the respondents’ answers indicated a wide gap between doctoral students’ rated/self-rated current competencies and the rated importance of these competencies. In conclusion, two major educational needs were identified in the qualitative analysis of the interviews: to improve and standardize data management planning, including awareness of the intellectual property and agreements issues affecting data processing and sharing; and to improve and standardize data documenting and describing, not only for the researcher themself but especially for data preservation, sharing, and re-using. Hence the study informs the development of RDM education for doctoral students.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Digital Curation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • research data management
  • data literacy
  • data information literacy
  • RDM
  • graduate students
  • Doctoral students
  • skills
  • competencies


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