TitleResearch Data Practice in the Life Sciences
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsMacdonald, Stuart
Keywordsresearch data

The broad aim of the RIN-funded Case Studies in Life Sciences project, undertaken by a team of social scientists and information specialists from the Institute for the Study of Science, Technology and Innovation (ISSTI) and from Information Services and the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) at the University of Edinburgh, was to improve understanding of information use and exchange in the life sciences and exchange.

Seven case studies were conducted across a diverse range of laboratories and research groups. They included groups studying humans, animals and plants, and covered different kinds of research context, encompassing analytical laboratory-based research, field research and in-silico research. The nature of the data used in the research process also varied, including quantitative, image, clinical, laboratory-derived and field data (including aquaculture and botanic collections). The starting point for each case study was the use of ‘probes’- specially designed ‘information lab books’ – to chart individual researchers’ information practices. This was followed-up with detailed discussions in interviews and focus groups.