Data sharing and reuse practices: Disciplinary differences and improvements needed
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AbstractPurpose This study investigates differences and commonalities in data production, sharing and reuse across the widest range of disciplines yet, and identifies types of improvements needed to promote data sharing and reuse. Design The first authors of randomly selected publications from 2018 and 2019 in 20 Scopus disciplines were surveyed for their beliefs and experiences about data sharing and reuse. Findings From the 3,257 survey responses, data sharing and reuse are still increasing but not ubiquitous in any subject area and are more common among experienced researchers. Researchers with previous data reuse experience were more likely to share data than others. Types of data produced and systematic online data sharing varied substantially between subject areas. Although the use of institutional and journal-supported repositories for sharing data is increasing, personal websites are still frequently used. Combining multiple existing datasets to answer new research questions was the most common use. Proper documentation, openness, and information on the usability of data continue to be important when searching for existing datasets. However, researchers in most disciplines struggled to find datasets to reuse. Researcher feedback suggested 23 recommendations to promote data sharing and reuse, including improved data access and usability, formal data citations, new search features, and cultural and policy-related disciplinary changes to increase awareness and acceptance. Originality This study is the first to explore data sharing and reuse practices across the full range of academic discipline types. It expands and updates previous data sharing surveys and suggests new areas of improvement in terms of policy, guidance, and training programs.
CitationKhan, N., Thelwall, M. and Kousha, K. (in press) Data sharing and reuse practices: Disciplinary differences and improvements needed. Online Information Review.
JournalOnline Information Review
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article due to be published by Emerald in Online Information Review. The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/