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Elicitation of data discovery contexts: an interview study

ARDC user study of data discovery project report
Data citation Research Research management Interdisciplinary research Open data Data availability Data linkage Australia

This project is designed to elicit data discovery contexts from researchers across Australia’s research system. As Australia’s leading research data coordinating agency, the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) has identified a need for a greater understanding of the contexts around which data users approach their data discovery journey. Specifically, the study has been designed to answer the following research questions:

  • How do researchers approach data discovery?
  • How do researchers search for data?
  • What data attributes matter to researchers’ data search?
  • What criteria do researchers apply for assessing relevance and usability of datasets?
  • What are the contexts of data reuse by researchers?

This study adopted a mixed-method approach to answer the proposed research questions by using both survey and in-depth interview methods. A pre-interview survey was designed to capture participant background information, including; their research areas/topics, stage of career, job roles and their data sources in recent projects. The researchers designed the interview protocol along each step of the data lifecycle and adopted a critical incident technique (CIT) protocol to conduct semi-structured in-depth interviews to elicit the contexts of data discovery.

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