analytics

Identifying Significant Growth in Data Sharing: Results from the Annual NYU Data Catalog Contributor Survey

The NYU Data Catalog is designed to facilitate data sharing, and with data from our annual surveys in 2018 and 2019, we can now see growth in the number of researchers participating in the NYU Data Catalog and in the number of interactions researchers have around data sharing because of the NYU Data Catalog.

Of those researchers who responded to our 2019 survey (48.2% response rate), 46.3% were contacted at least once about data sharing and the NYU Data Catalog. This represents a marked increase in the percentage of researchers who reported being contacted in 2018 (27.8%). Furthermore, between 2018 and 2019, there was a 51% increase in the number of contributors to the data catalog.

Rubella research. Photograph from the National Library of Medicine Digital Collections, UID: 101541114. Available at: http://resource.nlm.nih.gov/101541114

Rubella research. Photograph from the National Library of Medicine Digital Collections, UID: 101541114. Available at: http://resource.nlm.nih.gov/101541114

Researchers that were surveyed either serve as local experts on external datasets, like the New York City Community Health Survey, or they have contributed research datasets that are a product of their original research, like Dr. Scott Sherman’s CHART New York Smoking-Cessation Interventions for Urban Hospital Patients Dataset. The annual NYU Data Catalog Contributor survey allows us to gain a better understanding of how researchers are using the catalog and sharing their data, thus providing a way to measure change in data sharing practices over time.

The annual surveys ask five questions:

  • Have you generated new datasets this year?

  • Are you willing to have the new datasets described in the NYU Data Catalog?

  • Are there any changes or modifications to the datasets already described in the NYU Data Catalog?

  • Please briefly describe those changes to your dataset(s).

  • How many times have you been contacted by people asking about a dataset in the NYU Data Catalog?

In a later blog post, we will discuss other data points and new questions that were added to the survey in 2019 to help us better understand researcher data sharing practices.