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Data from: Use of web-based species occurrence information systems by academics and government professionals

Citation

Martín-Mora, Elizabeth; Ellis, Shari; Page, Lawrence (2020), Data from: Use of web-based species occurrence information systems by academics and government professionals, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.hx3ffbgbs

Abstract

Web-based information systems designed to increase access to species occurrence data for use in research and natural resource decision-making have become more prevalent over the past few decades. The effectiveness of these systems depends on their usability and extent of use by their intended audiences. We conducted an online survey of academics and government professionals in the United States to compare their species occurrence data needs and their perceptions and use of web-based species occurrence information systems. Our results indicate that although views and perceptions held by academics and government professionals about the importance, usefulness, and ease of use of these information systems tend to be similar, there were differences in their use of species occurrence data and web-based species occurrence information systems. The baseline information obtained in this study will help inform future directions for improvements in species occurrence information systems.

Methods

A survey consisting of a combination of close-ended questions and open-ended questions was developed to examine use of species occurrence data and web-based species occurrence information systems by professionals in the United States. This dataset only includes responses to closed-ended questions of the survey. Most closed-ended questions were developed as individual Likert-type items. Selection of one response was allowed per closed-ended question except for those that included ‘select all that apply’.

A list of names and emails of potential survey participants was compiled from websites of relevant academic departments in universities of the United States classified as doctoral universities of highest research activity in the 2015 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Names and emails of potential government participants were compiled from websites of natural resource agencies in each of the fifty states of the United States and the federal government.

The survey was administered online via Qualtrics. Invitations to participate in the online survey were sent from Qualtrics to academic and government professionals. A generic link to the survey was also provided to participants who had expressed interest in inviting other colleagues to participate in the survey. The online survey was open to all participants for one month in March 2017. The survey was opened a second time in June 2017 to invitees from a government agency that required clearance before staff could participate in the survey. The online survey was permanently closed on July 2017.

Usage Notes

survey_professionals_US_closedQ

Dataset used in analyses about the use of species occurrence data and web-based species occurrence information systems by academics and government professionals in the United States. This dataset contains responses to closed-ended questions from an online survey conducted in 2017.
survey_professionals_US_closedQ.csv

README_survey_professionals_US_closedQ

README file with information about methods and contents of the dataset.
README_survey_professionals_US_closedQ.txt

Funding

Division of Biological Infrastructure, Award: 1115210

Division of Biological Infrastructure, Award: 1547229