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Data from: Data sharing, management, use, and reuse: practices and perceptions of scientists worldwide

Citation

Tenopir, Carol et al. (2020), Data from: Data sharing, management, use, and reuse: practices and perceptions of scientists worldwide, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m27m0b4

Abstract

Background: With data becoming a centerpiece of modern scientific discovery, data sharing by scientists is now a crucial element of scientific progress. This article aims to provide an in-depth examination of the practices and perceptions of data management, including data storage, data sharing, and data use and reuse by scientists around the world. Methods: The Usability and Assessment Working Group of DataONE, an NSF-funded environmental cyberinfrastructure project, distributed a survey to a multinational and multidisciplinary sample of scientific researchers in a two-waves approach in 2017-2018. We focused our analysis on examining the differences across age groups, sub-disciplines of science, and sectors of employment. Findings: Most respondents displayed what we describe as high and moderate risk data practices by storing their data on their personal computer, departmental servers or USB drives. Respondents appeared to be satisfied with short-term storage solutions; however, only half of them are satisfied with available mechanisms for storing data beyond the life of the process. Data sharing and data reuse were viewed positively: over 85% of respondents admitted they would be willing to share their data with others and said they would use data collected by others if it could be easily accessed. A vast majority of respondents felt that the lack of access to data generated by other researchers or institutions was a major impediment to progress in science at large, yet only about a half thought that it restricted their own ability to answer scientific questions. Although attitudes towards data sharing and data use and reuse are mostly positive, practice does not always support data storage, sharing, and future reuse. Assistance through data managers or data librarians, readily available data repositories for both long-term and short-term storage, and educational programs for both awareness and to help engender good data practices are clearly needed.

Usage Notes

Funding

National Science Foundation, Award: 1430508