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Does graduate training in the Social Sciences prepare students for data management and sharing?

Presenter 1
Ashley Ebersole
ICPSR University of Michigan
Presenter 2
Jai Holt
ICPSR University of Michigan

Graduate programs in the social sciences aim to produce well rounded scholars and researchers. Although the majority of these programs offer curriculum in research methods and data collection as well as provide opportunities for professional development it is less clear how many students leave graduate school with a background in data management and data sharing.

For each social science discipline, including psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, geography, and history, their ethical codes necessitate open and accessible data. This is crucial as research becomes more collaborative, and evidence suggests that the research culture can be a barrier to data sharing. Early training in data management and sharing could help alleviate this problem.

The current study assesses how masters and doctoral level programs in the social sciences include formal and informal training in data sharing and the use of data repositories. We developed a survey instrument to measure the extent to which programs are likely to provide this training using a mix of open and closed ended questions. We sent the survey to 30 programs in the United States across the six social science disciplines. We report on our results and discuss implications for developing training materials that can be used in graduate programs.

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