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UC San Diego Ithaka S+R Research Study: Supporting Big Data Research

Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

During Winter 2020 - Summer 2021, the UC San Diego Library participated in the Ithaka S+R multi-institutional research study “Supporting Big Data Research”. The purpose of this study was to learn more about how researchers on the UC San Diego campus work with big data in their research and provide a set of recommendations to enhance and develop resources and services that will directly support and benefit this research. While definitions of “big data” may vary by discipline, we use the term here to refer to datasets large enough to be challenging to analyze within a traditional spreadsheet, or on a single computer. 

In-depth interviews with twelve UC San Diego big data researchers of various academic ranks and departmental affiliations were conducted, with questions focusing on various aspects of collecting and analyzing big data, infrastructure needs, research communication and data sharing, and training and support needs. Based on these interviews, we identify three primary themes for big data researchers on the UC San Diego campus: Curation, Open Science, and Training. For each of these areas, we offer a set of recommendations for the campus to better support existing big data research at UC San Diego, as well as develop capacity to support future big data initiatives.

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