Authors : Karin Hansson, Anna Dahlgren
Open research data repositories are promoted as one of the cornerstones in the open research paradigm, promoting collaboration, interoperability, and large-scale sharing and reuse. There is, however, a lack of research investigating what these sharing platforms actually share and a more critical interface analysis of the norms and practices embedded in this datafication of academic practice is needed.
This article takes image data sharing in the humanities as a case study for investigating the possibilities and constraints in 5 open research data repositories. By analyzing the visual and textual content of the interface along with the technical means for metadata, the study shows how the platforms are differentiated in terms of signifiers of research paradigms, but that beneath the rhetoric of the interface, they are designed in a similar way, which does not correspond well with the image researchers’ need for detailed metadata.
Combined with the problem of copyright limitations, these data-sharing tools are simply not sophisticated enough when it comes to sharing and reusing images. The result also corresponds with previous research showing that these tools are used not so much for sharing research data, but more for promoting researcher personas.