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

Florence Piron florence.piron at com.ulaval.ca
Mon May 4 19:04:47 UTC 2015

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.
> A Reputation Economy: Results from an Empirical Survey on Academic 
> Data Sharing 

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