The development of a research data policy at Wageningen University & Research: best practices as a framework

Authors: Hilde van Zeeland, Jacquelijn Ringersma

The current case study describes the development of a Research Data Management policy at Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands. To develop this policy, an analysis was carried out of existing frameworks and principles on data management (such as the FAIR principles), as well as of the data management practices in the organisation.

These practices were defined through interviews with research groups. Using criteria drawn from the existing frameworks and principles, certain research groups were identified as ‘best-practices’: cases where data management was meeting the most important data management criteria.

These best-practices were then used to inform the RDM policy. This approach shows how engagement with researchers can not only provide insight into their data management practices and needs, but directly inform new policy guidelines.

URL : The development of a research data policy at Wageningen University & Research: best practices as a framework

DOI : http://doi.org/10.18352/lq.10215

How do scientists perceive the current publication culture? A qualitative focus group interview study among Dutch biomedical researchers

Design

Qualitative focus group interview study.

Setting

Four university medical centres in the Netherlands.

Participants

Three randomly selected groups of biomedical scientists (PhD, postdoctoral staff members and full professors).

Main outcome measures

Main themes for discussion were selected by participants.

Results

Frequently perceived detrimental effects of contemporary publication culture were the strong focus on citation measures (like the Journal Impact Factor and the H-index), gift and ghost authorships and the order of authors, the peer review process, competition, the funding system and publication bias. These themes were generally associated with detrimental and undesirable effects on publication practices and on the validity of reported results.

Furthermore, senior scientists tended to display a more cynical perception of the publication culture than their junior colleagues. However, even among the PhD students and the postdoctoral fellows, the sentiment was quite negative. Positive perceptions of specific features of contemporary scientific and publication culture were rare.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that the current publication culture leads to negative sentiments, counterproductive stress levels and, most importantly, to questionable research practices among junior and senior biomedical scientists.

URL : How do scientists perceive the current publication culture? A qualitative focus group interview study among Dutch biomedical researchers

Alternative location : http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/6/2/e008681.full