[Irtalk] Fwd: [open-science] A Reputation Economy: Results from an Empirical Survey on Academic Data Sharing

Hilton Gibson hilton.gibson at gmail.com
Mon May 4 21:20:43 SAST 2015


*Hilton Gibson*
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---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Florence Piron <florence.piron at com.ulaval.ca>
Date: 4 May 2015 at 21:04
Subject: [open-science] A Reputation Economy: Results from an Empirical
Survey on Academic Data Sharing
To: open-science at lists.okfn.org

 Very interesting study.



  Academic data sharing is a way for researchers to collaborate and thereby
meet the needs of an increasingly complex research landscape. It enables
researchers to verify results and to pursuit new research questions with
“old” data. It is therefore not surprising that data sharing is advocated
by funding agencies, journals, and researchers alike. We surveyed 2661
individual academic researchers across all disciplines on their dealings
with data, their publication practices, and motives for sharing or
withholding research data. The results for 1564 valid responses show that
researchers across disciplines recognise the benefit of secondary research
data for their own work and for scientific progress as a whole—still they
only practice it in moderation. An explanation for this evidence could be
an academic system that is not driven by monetary incentives, nor the
desire for scientific progress, but by individual reputation—expressed in
(high ranked journal) publications. We label this system a Reputation
Economy. This special economy explains our findings that show that
researchers have a nuanced idea how to provide adequate formal recognition
for making data available to others—namely data citations. We conclude that
data sharing will only be widely adopted among research professionals if
sharing pays in form of reputation. Thus, policy measures that intend to
foster research collaboration need to understand academia as a reputation
economy. Successful measures must value intermediate products, such as
research data, more highly than it is the case now.

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