What you told us: the DataCite member survey


As a membership organization, our members are our most important source of information. We try to stay in touch with all our members, look for them at conferences, and take all input seriously. However, to date we hadn’t gathered structured feedback on how we’re doing. To change that, we sent out a member survey at the end of last year. This is the first survey in what will become a yearly member satisfaction survey.

Before I share the results with you, I’d first like to thank all the people who completed the survey. Your input is invaluable! We sent the survey out to our 144 members and received 36 responses, which is a response rate of around 25%. If you read this and would still like to add your answers, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’re happy to talk to you.

We were not only pleased with our members responding, but also with the responses we received. Thank you for your support.

Half of you rated us 10 out of 10 when asked how likely you were to recommend DataCite. It won’t be easy to improve that next year! When asked what we do well, you told us: DOI registration/providing DOI services, which is of course our core activity. You also mentioned the development of new services and the ease of use of existing services. In terms of outreach, you mentioned our work on raising awareness of the importance of data sharing and PIDs and our efforts to bring the community together. We were also happy to hear that you feel we continuously evolve to meet member needs and have the ability to do even better.

Several of you mentioned you appreciated the friendly onboarding and support we provide, but when asked what we could do better, several of you also mentioned support. Specifically, you’d like to see shorter response times and more advance notice when there are changes or outages. You also asked for some specific product developments, Most often mentioned were usage statistics, better search, and link checking.

We were pleased to see that members do not only join us because they want to register DOIs, you also care about the DataCite mission and to a lesser extent, about DataCite governance.

So what did we learn from this? The first take away is that support could and should be better. The good news is that we hired a Support Manageraround the same time we sent out the survey, so we fully expect our response times will go down and you’ll be happier next year. We also learned that communication could be better. Some of you commented on the many different channels, but others also said they’re not being informed, so there is room for improvement here. This year we will update our mailing lists to ensure the right information gets to the right person and you only get the messages relevant for you. We were very happy to see your product suggestions because these are things we’re already working on. You can read more about link checker, search, and usage metrics on our blog and expect new announcements soon.

We also learned that you want to provide input and feedback, so we will continue to ask you for your opinion. There are already several ways to provide input on the roadmap. Right now, feedback and feature requests are summarized in Github issues, which you are welcome to add yourself in our main GitHub repository. The team meets regularly to prioritize the issues and adjust our product roadmap, and your input is a valuable part of ensuring the things that are most important to you are included. We’re investigating other tools to make it even easier for everyone to offer feedback and input in a way that works for them, such as leveraging the newly launched PIDforum.org as a place to share our upcoming plans for comment with the wider PID community.

Our monthly Open Hours call, which usually takes place on the first Wednesday of the month, is great way to join in with the community and share your news, views and feedback. During each Open Hours session we present something that we’re working on and ask you lots of questions to keep checking that we’re going in the right direction.

This year we’re also planning to do more polling through social media (follow us @datacite) and voting on our website.

And of course if you have questions or suggestions you can send them in via our support channel support@datacite.org. We have implemented internal reporting mechanisms to capture your feedback and channel it directly to where it needs to go.