Assessing opinions on Skills, Access, and Trust relating to Data Re-use within the ESIP member community


Survey link:


This study is a Funding Friday project from the 2012 ESIP Summer Meeting in Madison. 

In mid-December, a questionnaire was sent to the ESIP community asking participants to recall their personal experiences with data re-use specifically the skills and training they felt they needed to be successful searchers, how they accessed collections, what barriers they encountered along the way, and finally, how they determined trustworthiness and quality of the data they discovered and ultimately used.


The purpose of this study is to reflect on the current state of skills, access, and trust relating to data re-use within the ESIP member community.  This study will specifically focus on the data lifecycle.  The data lifecycle includes curation, access to data by the user community and the skills needed to perform these services or tasks.  


To better serve users, it is important to understand what skills are needed in searching for scientific data sets.  This includes research, technological and cognitive skills.  Collections must be discoverable and accessible.  In order to make use of a collection, users must be able to successfully search and find scientific data sets within these repositories and the resulting data must be in a format which is useable for their purposes. Finally, when accessing scientific data repositories, individuals must evaluate the trustworthiness of the collections and determine the quality of data it houses before deciding to use repository resources. 


The questionnaire sent to the ESIP community was guided by the following research questions:  

  1. Skills
    1. What skills do ESIP members find valuable when searching for data
    2. Where did they learn these skills?
  2.  Access
    1. What steps do ESIP members take to discover data
    2. What do they do when they cannot get access to data they need/encounter barriers during their searches?
  3. Trust
    1. How do ESIP members determine the accuracy of metadata for a dataset?
    2.  How do they determine quality and trustworthiness for a source providing data?


Data collected through this study will be analyzed using qualitative methods and statistical analysis.  Our expected outcomes are to identify key gaps to be addressed in future research relating to skills, access and trust.  This may lead to the development of a list of best practices or resources for ESIP regarding skills, access and trust in relation to data and the data lifecycle.


Please note, the questionnaire is currently open.  Preliminary results will be presented at the ESIP Winter Meeting in January and members are asked to fill out the questionnaire online:

Attachments for download: