Attitudes and norms affecting scientists’ data reuse

Authors : Renata Gonçalves Curty, Kevin Crowston, Alison Specht, Bruce W. Grant, Elizabeth D. Dalton

The value of sharing scientific research data is widely appreciated, but factors that hinder or prompt the reuse of data remain poorly understood. Using the Theory of Reasoned Action, we test the relationship between the beliefs and attitudes of scientists towards data reuse, and their self-reported data reuse behaviour.

To do so, we used existing responses to selected questions from a worldwide survey of scientists developed and administered by the DataONE Usability and Assessment Working Group (thus practicing data reuse ourselves).

Results show that the perceived efficacy and efficiency of data reuse are strong predictors of reuse behaviour, and that the perceived importance of data reuse corresponds to greater reuse. Expressed lack of trust in existing data and perceived norms against data reuse were not found to be major impediments for reuse contrary to our expectations.

We found that reported use of models and remotely-sensed data was associated with greater reuse. The results suggest that data reuse would be encouraged and normalized by demonstration of its value.

We offer some theoretical and practical suggestions that could help to legitimize investment and policies in favor of data sharing.

URL : Attitudes and norms affecting scientists’ data reuse


Factors Influencing Research Data Reuse in the Social Sciences : An Exploratory Study

Author : Renata Gonçalves Curty

The development of e-Research infrastructure has enabled data to be shared and accessed more openly. Policy mandates for data sharing have contributed to the increasing availability of research data through data repositories, which create favourable conditions for the re-use of data for purposes not always anticipated by original collectors.

Despite the current efforts to promote transparency and reproducibility in science, datare-use cannot be assumed, nor merely considered a ‘thrifting’ activity where scientists shop around in datarepositories considering only the ease of access to data.

The lack of an integrated view of individual, socialand technological influential factors to intentional and actual data re-use behaviour was the key motivatorfor this study. Interviews with 13 social scientists produced 25 factors that were found to influence theirperceptions and experiences, including both their unsuccessful and successful attempts to re-use data.

These factors were grouped into six theoretical variables: perceived benefits, perceived risks, perceived effort,social influence, facilitating conditions, and perceived re-usability.

These research findings provide an in-depth understanding about the re-use of research data in the context of open science, which can be valuablein terms of theory and practice to help leverage data re-use and make publicly available data moreactionable.

URL : Factors Influencing Research Data Reuse in the Social Sciences : An Exploratory Study