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If We Share Data, Will Anyone Use Them? Data Sharing and Reuse in the Long Tail of Science and Technology

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  • Jillian C Wallis
  • Elizabeth Rolando
  • Christine L Borgman

Abstract

Research on practices to share and reuse data will inform the design of infrastructure to support data collection, management, and discovery in the long tail of science and technology. These are research domains in which data tend to be local in character, minimally structured, and minimally documented. We report on a ten-year study of the Center for Embedded Network Sensing (CENS), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center. We found that CENS researchers are willing to share their data, but few are asked to do so, and in only a few domain areas do their funders or journals require them to deposit data. Few repositories exist to accept data in CENS research areas.. Data sharing tends to occur only through interpersonal exchanges. CENS researchers obtain data from repositories, and occasionally from registries and individuals, to provide context, calibration, or other forms of background for their studies. Neither CENS researchers nor those who request access to CENS data appear to use external data for primary research questions or for replication of studies. CENS researchers are willing to share data if they receive credit and retain first rights to publish their results. Practices of releasing, sharing, and reusing of data in CENS reaffirm the gift culture of scholarship, in which goods are bartered between trusted colleagues rather than treated as commodities.

Suggested Citation

  • Jillian C Wallis & Elizabeth Rolando & Christine L Borgman, 2013. "If We Share Data, Will Anyone Use Them? Data Sharing and Reuse in the Long Tail of Science and Technology," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 8(7), pages 1-17, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:plo:pone00:0067332
    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067332
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Keiko Kurata & Mamiko Matsubayashi & Shinji Mine, 2017. "Identifying the Complex Position of Research Data and Data Sharing Among Researchers in Natural Science," SAGE Open, , vol. 7(3), pages 21582440177, July.
    2. Vanessa V Sochat & Cameron J Prybol & Gregory M Kurtzer, 2017. "Enhancing reproducibility in scientific computing: Metrics and registry for Singularity containers," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(11), pages 1-24, November.
    3. Tobias Haeusermann & Bastian Greshake & Alessandro Blasimme & Darja Irdam & Martin Richards & Effy Vayena, 2017. "Open sharing of genomic data: Who does it and why?," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(5), pages 1-15, May.
    4. Alyssa Goodman & Alberto Pepe & Alexander W Blocker & Christine L Borgman & Kyle Cranmer & Merce Crosas & Rosanne Di Stefano & Yolanda Gil & Paul Groth & Margaret Hedstrom & David W Hogg & Vinay Kashy, 2014. "Ten Simple Rules for the Care and Feeding of Scientific Data," PLOS Computational Biology, Public Library of Science, vol. 10(4), pages 1-5, April.
    5. Mike Thelwall, 2020. "Data in Brief: Can a mega-journal for data be useful?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 124(1), pages 697-709, July.
    6. Youngseek Kim & Ayoung Yoon, 2017. "Scientists' data reuse behaviors: A multilevel analysis," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 68(12), pages 2709-2719, December.

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