Ithaka S+R’s Research Support Services program explores current trends and support needs in academic research. Our most recent project in this program, “Supporting Big Data Research,” focused specifically on the rapidly emerging use of big data in research across disciplines and fields. As part of our study, we partnered with librarians from more than 20 colleges and universities, who then conducted over 200 interviews with faculty. These interviews provided insights into the research methodologies and support needs of researchers working across a wide range of disciplines. This report provides a detailed account of how big data research is pursued in academic contexts, focusing on identifying typical methodologies, workflows, outputs, and challenges big data researchers face. Full details and actionable recommendations for stakeholders are offered in the body of the report, which offers guidance to universities, funders, and others interested in improving institutional capacities and fostering intellectual climates to better support big data research.
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