New report from Digital Science finds increasing concerns around the lack of credit for data sharing.
(30 Nov 2021) Figshare, Digital Science, and Springer Nature’s annual State of Open Data report finds increasing concern among researchers about misuse of data as well as a lack of credit and acknowledgement for those who do openly share their data.
Among the key findings, 55% feel they need support in regard to copyright and licenses when making research data openly available, and 73% strongly or somewhat support the idea of a national mandate for making research data openly available. At the same time, 65% of respondents have never received credit or acknowledgement for sharing data.
The State of Open Data report is in its sixth year, and more than 4,200 researchers responded from around the world, providing detailed and prolonged insight into motivations, challenges, perceptions, and behaviors toward open data. It builds on a strong body of evidence that confirms one of the main barriers to data sharing is lack of credit and acknowledgement.
Primary motivations for data sharing are tied to traditional measurements of impact and credit, with 19% of respondents motivated by citation of their research papers, 14% by co-authorship on papers, 11% by increased impact and visibility of research, and 11% on public benefit.
Despite concerns over misuse of data and licensing, 66% of respondents had heard of the FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) data principles, which were established five years ago, with 28% responding that they are familiar with them, the highest number since this question was first asked in 2018. More than half of respondents (54%) thought their data was very much or somewhat compliant with the FAIR data principles, also the highest number since this question was first asked in 2018. These findings indicate that concern over sharing data could lessen in the long run if data are as accessible and reusable as possible.
The press release in full is here.
The report can be viewed and downloaded here.