23 Research Data Things – 5: Data sharing

Based on Wiley’s infographic, publishing research data in institutional repositories is not yet the norm and accounts for about 26% of research data sharing. I think that this is a growing area that librarians are starting to get into.

The primary way is as an appendix or supplementary material to a journal article, which shows that data sharing in its own right is not mainstream practice, only incidental if the author includes it in their publications.

Data sharing is a relatively new thing as open access gains more weight in the academic world, data sharing will follow. It’s a more difficult area for researchers to embrace compared to OA publishing, because it really requires good information management skills. In the future I’d like to see more data librarian roles dedicated to helping researchers manage, format, describe, preserve and share their data.

The top reason against data sharing is intellectual property or confidentiality issues. I think that this is a valid concern. If researchers are doing research that creates sensitive information that would be unwise to make open, possibly for their own safety or that of human participants in their research. For this reason it does not surprise me that the social sciences discipline has the least amount of open data.

 

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