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80% of Researchers Surveyed Believe Their Laboratories Are Not Run Efficiently
Date:11/4/2009

94 Researchers from 74 institutions worldwide were asked a series of questions regarding their management of research data. The survey's purpose was to learn about and prove the need for knowledge management systems in academic research. 80% of the researchers surveyed believe their labs are not run efficiently.

(PRWEB) -- In a survey commissioned by BioData, 94 researchers from 74 institutions worldwide were asked a series of questions regarding their management of research data. The survey’s purpose was to learn about and prove the need for knowledge management systems in academic research. 80% of the researchers surveyed believe their labs are not run efficiently.

William Noble, associate professor in the Department of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington recently published “A Quick Guide to Organizing Computational Biology Projects,” an article dealing with management of data related to the bioinformatics field. When one thinks about managing laboratory data, it can be overwhelming to think of all the files, graphs, images, and results that come with every experiment. Noble explains that while organizing files and documenting progress seem mundane, “These issues are important because poor organizational choices can lead to significantly slower research progress.”

Over the past two years, BioData has worked with over 30 research groups providing them with a research management service. Dr. Noble may be referring to actual management of files and folder, but we have learned that having a systematic way of organizing results and data, promotes research and makes the lab a more pleasant work place.

Data organization is key to saving time and frustration when you don’t have to waste time looking for where you stored everything. As one frustrated PhD student expressed, “I have got so much data on a thousand different machines… and I cannot keep track of it all. I do not remember what I save to what or where it is, whether I’ve backed it up or not. Anytime I’m getting ready for a conference, presentation, or review I spend hours and hours just trying to find everything! Everything else in my life is overly organized except the one thing that is most important—my RESEARCH! I dread having to write my thesis because I don’t think I’ll be able to find all my data…” If your data is organized and stored in one place, it is easy to keep track of and access whenever you need it.

"Keeping results data, and knowledge in context is one of the main challenges for research groups," states Jonathan Gross BioData's CEO & Founder "We see researchers running three to five experiments concurrently, spending hours on collecting results but failing to properly document it".

Data also has to be accessible and stored securely. 56% of the researchers surveyed stored their data on a hard drive. There is a problem with storing data in one place, as many learned the hard way from Hurricane Katrina, when an incredible amount of data was lost. One researcher from New Orleans’ Tulane University pointed out, “Before Hurricane Katrina, there was no backup system at all. Now, they issued everyone a 80GB external drive and gave them stern warnings that there would be no rescue missions for hard drives if another levee breach occurred… Surely we can do better than this..”

Noble suggests storing data online, as hard drives cannot be accessed once you are out of the lab, and as another researcher pointed out “I think there should be online storage of research data … so when ever you have time you can analyze your data.” In fact, 80% of researchers said they would store data online in a secure server.

To learn more about BioData’s online research management service visit www.biodata.com

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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/11/prweb3142744.htm.


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Source: PRWeb
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