Open Data: the researcher perspective - survey and case studies

Published: 4 April 2017| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/bwrnfb4bvh.1
Stephane Berghmans, Helena Cousijn, Gemma Deakin, Ingeborg Meijer, Adrian Mulligan, Andrew Plume, Sarah de Rijcke, Alex Rushforth, Clifford Tatum, Thed van Leeuwen, Ludo Waltman


A research project focusing on open data practices was carried out as a collaboration between Leiden University’s Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) and Elsevier. In this project, a complementary methods approach was used which combined exploratory bibliographic analysis, an international survey of researchers, and three case studies. Here we share the relevant files for the case studies and international survey. The results are described in the project report 'Open Data: The researcher perspective'. Case studies Studies of open data often focus on the status and potential of making data publicly available for reuse by academic actors situated outside of the local context in which they were produced or by public actors not directly associated with academic research (Borgman 2012). This formulation of open data imagines the widest practical range of potential (re)users and invokes significant effort to prepare data for use by unknown others. Often overlooked in this approach is the assessment of data practices that occur in fields with a tradition of data sharing that would not be considered ‘open data’ in the political sense. In this study, we shift the focus from concerns of public access to an account of data sharing practices associated with the process of conducting research. We adapt Leonelli’s (2013) framework for open data in the development of six epistemic dimensions associated with data sharing: (a) data situated, (b) pragmatics of sharing/reuse, (c) incentives for sharing/reuse, (d) governance/accountability, (e) commodification and (f) globalization. A summary of these case studies was included in the main project report 'Open Data: The researcher perspective'. Survey These files contain the questionnaire and raw data for the Open Data survey, which examines the attitudes and behavior of researchers with regard to sharing their research data and using open data in their own research. The survey was conducted with a random sample of researchers that had published a journal article or book (chapter) that was indexed in Scopus in 2012-2015. 1200 researchers completed the survey and fieldwork took place in June-July 2016.



Data Management