Innovation & Research Practice

Lightning Talk: Program Description Abstract

How Are Researchers Documenting Their Day-to-Day Activities?

Sunday, May 5
5:05 PM - 5:10 PM
Room: Columbus KL (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

Background : We undertook a pilot project to evaluate the feasibility of launching a full-scale research project to investigate best practices of researchers at our institution for keeping lab notebooks. Our objectives are to learn about practices already present on campus through a series of faculty interviews, and to analyze those practices based on their similarities or differences, their compliance with modern technology, and ease of use and access, as well as to suggest other practices based on our review of tools reported in the literature.


Description : We focused on a narrowly defined group of researches to obtain a more useful set of conclusions upon which to launch a full-scale project. After obtaining IRB approval (HUM00147763), we emailed a biology department at our institution, our sample population, to explaining the project and asking for volunteers. We interviewed six-research faculty from that department about their recordkeeping practices: including print vs. electronic notebook use, data and protocol sharing within the lab, and standard policies. Interviews were recorded and transcribed, and the transcripts were coded and analyzed.


Conclusion : The results provide a snapshot of current disciplinary practice, which will be useful as a benchmark for longitudinal studies of a wider community as campus-supported electronic tools for research documentation are expected to become more widely available in the coming years. They also suggest points of need where the library might productively offer services within the current paradigm to improve access to and preservation of day-to-day research documentation.


 

Merle Rosenzweig

Informationist
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Marci Brandenburg

Bioinformationist
University of Michigan Taubman Health Sciences Library
Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Scott Martin

Biological Sciences Librarian
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Leena Lalwani

Engineering Librarian
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

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Mark MacEachern

Informationist
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Mark MacEachern, MLIS, is an Informationist in the Research & Informatics division at the University of Michigan Taubman Health Sciences Library.

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Yulia Sevryugina

Chemistry Librarian
University of Michigan

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Send Email for Yulia Sevryugina


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