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Data Management and Sharing: Practices and Perceptions of Psychology Researchers


Borghi, John; Van Gulick, Ana (2020), Data Management and Sharing: Practices and Perceptions of Psychology Researchers, Dryad, Dataset,


Research data is increasingly viewed as an important scholarly output. While a growing body of studies have investigated researcher practices and perceptions related to data sharing, information about data-related practices throughout the research process (including data collection and analysis) remains largely anecdotal. Building on our previous study of data practices in neuroimaging research, we conducted a survey of data management practices in the field of psychology. Our survey included questions about the type(s) of data collected, the tools used for data analysis, practices related to data organization, maintaining documentation, backup procedures, and long-term archiving of research materials. Our results demonstrate the complexity of managing and sharing data in psychology. Data is collected in multifarious forms from human participants, analyzed using a range of software tools, and archived in formats that may become obsolete. As individuals, our participants demonstrated relatively good data management practices, however they also indicated that there was little standardization within their research group. Participants generally indicated that they were willing to change their current practices in light of new technologies, opportunities, or requirements. 


To investigate the data-related practices of psychology researchers, we adapted a survey developed as part of our previous study of neuroimaging researchers. The survey was distributed via Qualtrics ( from January 25 to March 25, 2019. Before beginning the survey, participants were required to verify that they were at least 18 years old and gave their informed consent to participate. Participants who did not meet these inclusion criteria or who did not complete at least the first section of the survey were not included in the final data analysis. After filtering, 274 psychology researchers from 31 countries participated in our survey.

 All code for data collection and visualization is included in the Jupyter notebooks included here.

Usage Notes

The following materials are included in this dataset:

Borghi_VanGulick_PsychRDM_Survey - This file contains the text of our survey instrument. This file is available in both .docx and .pdf format.

Borghi_VanGulick_PsychRDM_Notebook - This file contains all code used for data analysis and visualization. This file is available in both .ipynb and .html format.

Borghi_VanGulick_PsychRDM_Data - This file contains all data used as part of the data analysis and visualization process. This file is available in .csv format.

Borghi_VanGulick_PsychRDM_Dictionary - This file describes what each variable in the dataset corresponds to (i.e. which variables relate to each survey question). This file is available in .csv format.