The Definition of Reuse

Authors : Stephanie van de Sandt, Sünje Dallmeier-Tiessen, Artemis Lavasa, Vivien Petras

The ability to reuse research data is now considered a key benefit for the wider research community. Researchers of all disciplines are confronted with the pressure to share their research data so that it can be reused.

The demand for data use and reuse has implications on how we document, publish and share research in the first place, and, perhaps most importantly, it affects how we measure the impact of research, which is commonly a measurement of its use and reuse.

It is surprising that research communities, policy makers, etc. have not clearly defined what use and reuse is yet.

We postulate that a clear definition of use and reuse is needed to establish better metrics for a comprehensive scholarly record of individuals, institutions, organizations, etc.

Hence, this article presents a first definition of reuse of research data. Characteristics of reuse are identified by examining the etymology of the term and the analysis of the current discourse, leading to a range of reuse scenarios that show the complexity of today’s research landscape, which has been moving towards a data-driven approach.

The analysis underlines that there is no reason to distinguish use and reuse. We discuss what that means for possible new metrics that attempt to cover Open Science practices more comprehensively.

We hope that the resulting definition will enable a better and more refined strategy for Open Science.

URL : The Definition of Reuse


Connecting Data Publication to the Research Workflow: A Preliminary Analysis

Authors : Sünje Dallmeier-Tiessen, Varsha Khodiyar, Fiona Murphy, Amy Nurnberger, Lisa Raymond, Angus Whyte

The data curation community has long encouraged researchers to document collected research data during active stages of the research workflow, to provide robust metadata earlier, and support research data publication and preservation.

Data documentation with robust metadata is one of a number of steps in effective data publication. Data publication is the process of making digital research objects ‘FAIR’, i.e. findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable; attributes increasingly expected by research communities, funders and society.

Research data publishing workflows are the means to that end. Currently, however, much published research data remains inconsistently and inadequately documented by researchers.

Documentation of data closer in time to data collection would help mitigate the high cost that repositories associate with the ingest process. More effective data publication and sharing should in principle result from early interactions between researchers and their selected data repository.

This paper describes a short study undertaken by members of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) and World Data System (WDS) working group on Publishing Data Workflows. We present a collection of recent examples of data publication workflows that connect data repositories and publishing platforms with research activity ‘upstream’ of the ingest process.

We re-articulate previous recommendations of the working group, to account for the varied upstream service components and platforms that support the flow of contextual and provenance information downstream.

These workflows should be open and loosely coupled to support interoperability, including with preservation and publication environments. Our recommendations aim to stimulate further work on researchers’ views of data publishing and the extent to which available services and infrastructure facilitate the publication of FAIR data.

We also aim to stimulate further dialogue about, and definition of, the roles and responsibilities of research data services and platform providers for the ‘FAIRness’ of research data publication workflows themselves.

URL : Connecting Data Publication to the Research Workflow: A Preliminary Analysis