Abstract : The keynote provides an overview on the field of research data produced by PhD students, in the context of open science, open access to research results, e-Science and the handling of electronic theses and dissertations. The keynote includes recent empirical results and recommendations for good practice and further research. In particular, the paper is based on an assessment of 864 print and electronic dissertations in sciences, social sciences and humanities from the Universities of Lille (France) and Ljubljana (Slovenia), submitted between 1987 and 2015, and on a survey on data management with 270 scientists in social sciences and humanities of the University of Lille 3.
The keynote starts with an introduction into data-driven science, data life cycle and data publishing. It then moves on to research data management by PhD students, their practice, their needs and their willingness to disseminate and share their data. After this qualitative analysis of information behaviour, we present the results of a quantitative assessment of research data produced and submitted with dissertations Special attention is paid to the size of the research data in appendices, to their presentation and link to the text, to their sources and typology, and to their potential for further research. The discussion puts the focus on legal aspects (database protection, intellectual property, privacy, third-party rights) and other barriers to data sharing, reuse and dissemination through open access.
Another part adds insight into the potential handling of these data, in the framework of the French and Slovenian dissertation infrastructures. What could be done to valorise these data in a centralized system for electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs)? The topics are formats, metadata (including attribution of unique identifiers), submission/deposit, long-term preservation and dissemination. This part will also draw on experiences from other campuses and make use of results from surveys on data management at the Universities of Berlin and Lille.
The conclusion provides some recommendations for the assistance and advice to PhD students in managing and depositing their research data, and also for further research.
Our study will be helpful for academic libraries to develop assistance and advice for PhD students in managing their research data, in collaboration with the research structures and the graduate schools. Moreover, it should be helpful to prepare and select research data for long-term preservation, curate research data in open repositories and design data repositories.
The French part of paper is part of an ongoing research project at the University of Lille 3 (France) in the field of digital humanities and research data, conducted with scientists and academic librarians. Its preliminary results have been presented at a conference on research data in February 2015 at Lille, at the 8th Conference on Grey Literature and Repositories at Prague in October 2015 and published in the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. The Slovenian research results have not been published before.