Authors : Juliana Elisa Raffaghelli, Stefania Manca
Although current research has investigated how open research data (ORD) are published, researchers’ behaviour of ORD sharing on academic social networks (ASNs) remains insufficiently explored. The purpose of this study is to investigate the connections between ORDs publication and social activity to uncover data literacy gaps.
This work investigates whether the ORDs publication leads to social activity around the ORDs and their linked published articles to uncover data literacy needs. The social activity was characterised as reads and citations, over the basis of a non-invasive approach supporting this preliminary study.
The eventual associations between the social activity and the researchers’ profile (scientific domain, gender, region, professional position, reputation) and the quality of the ORD published were investigated to complete this picture.
A random sample of ORD items extracted from ResearchGate (752 ORDs) was analysed using quantitative techniques, including descriptive statistics, logistic regression and K-means cluster analysis.
The results highlight three main phenomena: (1) Globally, there is still an underdeveloped social activity around self-archived ORDs in ResearchGate, in terms of reads and citations, regardless of the published ORDs quality; (2) disentangling the moderating effects over social activity around ORD spots traditional dynamics within the “innovative” practice of engaging with data practices; (3) a somewhat similar situation of ResearchGate as ASN to other data platforms and repositories, in terms of social activity around ORD, was detected.
Although the data were collected within a narrow period, the random data collection ensures a representative picture of researchers’ practices.
As per the implications, the study sheds light on data literacy requirements to promote social activity around ORD in the context of open science as a desirable frontier of practice.
Researchers data literacy across digital systems is still little understood. Although there are many policies and technological infrastructure providing support, the researchers do not make an in-depth use of them.