Re-use of research data in the social sciences. Use and users of digital data archive

Authors : Elina LateI, Michael Ochsner

The aim of this paper is to investigate the re-use of research data deposited in digital data archive in the social sciences. The study examines the quantity, type, and purpose of data downloads by analyzing enriched user log data collected from Swiss data archive. The findings show that quantitative datasets are downloaded increasingly from the digital archive and that downloads focus heavily on a small share of the datasets.

The most frequently downloaded datasets are survey datasets collected by research organizations offering possibilities for longitudinal studies. Users typically download only one dataset, but a group of heavy downloaders form a remarkable share of all downloads. The main user group downloading data from the archive are students who use the data in their studies. Furthermore, datasets downloaded for research purposes often, but not always, serve to be used in scholarly publications.

Enriched log data from data archives offer an interesting macro level perspective on the use and users of the services and help understanding the increasing role of repositories in the social sciences. The study provides insights into the potential of collecting and using log data for studying and evaluating data archive use.

URL : Re-use of research data in the social sciences. Use and users of digital data archive


Research Data Management in the Croatian Academic Community: A Research Study

Author : Radovan Vrana

This paper presents the results of an empirical research study of Croatian scientists’ use and management of research data. This research study was carried out from 28 June 2023 until 31 August 2023 using an online questionnaire consisting of 28 questions. The answers of 584 respondents working in science were filtered out for further analysis. About three-quarters of the respondents used the research data of other scientists successfully. Research data were mostly acquired from colleagues from the same department or institution.

Roughly half of the respondents did not ask other scientists directly for their research data. Research data are important to the respondents mostly for raising the quality of research. Repeating someone else’s research by using their research data is still a problem. Less than one-third of the respondents provided full access to their research data mostly due to their fear of misuse.

The benefits of research data sharing were recognized but few of the respondents received any reward for it. Archiving research data is a significant problem for the respondents as they dominantly use their own computers prone to failure for that activity and do not think about long-term preservation. Finally, the respondents lacked deeper knowledge of research data management.

URL : Research Data Management in the Croatian Academic Community: A Research Study


Research Data Management in the Humanities: Challenges and Opportunities in the Canadian Context

Authors : Stefan Higgins, Lisa Goddard, Shahira Khair

In recent years, research funders across the world have implemented mandates for research data management (RDM) that introduce new obligations for researchers seeking funding. Although data work is not new in the humanities, digital research infrastructures, best practices, and the development of highly qualified personnel to support humanist researchers are all still nascent.

Responding to these changes, this article offers four contributions to how humanists can consider the role of “data” in their research and succeed in its management. First, we define RDM and data management plans (DMP) and raise some exigent questions regarding their development and maintenance.

Second, acknowledging the unsettled status of “data” in the humanities, we offer some conceptual explanations of what data are, and gesture to some ways in which humanists are already (and have always been) engaged in data work.

Third, we argue that data work requires conscious design—attention to how data are produced—and that thinking of data work as involving design (e.g., experimental and interpretive work) can help humanists engage more fruitfully in RDM.

Fourth, we argue that RDM (and data work, generally) is labour that requires compensation in the form of funding, support, and tools, as well as accreditation and recognition that incentivizes researchers to make RDM an integral part of their research.

Finally, we offer a set of concrete recommendations to support humanist RDM in the Canadian context.

URL : Research Data Management in the Humanities: Challenges and Opportunities in the Canadian Context


An analysis of the effects of sharing research data, code, and preprints on citations

Authors : Giovanni Colavizza, Lauren Cadwallader, Marcel LaFlamme, Grégory Dozot, Stéphane Lecorney, Daniel Rappo, Iain Hrynaszkiewicz

Calls to make scientific research more open have gained traction with a range of societal stakeholders. Open Science practices include but are not limited to the early sharing of results via preprints and openly sharing outputs such as data and code to make research more reproducible and extensible. Existing evidence shows that adopting Open Science practices has effects in several domains.

In this study, we investigate whether adopting one or more Open Science practices leads to significantly higher citations for an associated publication, which is one form of academic impact. We use a novel dataset known as Open Science Indicators, produced by PLOS and DataSeer, which includes all PLOS publications from 2018 to 2023 as well as a comparison group sampled from the PMC Open Access Subset. In total, we analyze circa 122’000 publications. We calculate publication and author-level citation indicators and use a broad set of control variables to isolate the effect of Open Science Indicators on received citations.

We show that Open Science practices are adopted to different degrees across scientific disciplines. We find that the early release of a publication as a preprint correlates with a significant positive citation advantage of about 20.2% on average. We also find that sharing data in an online repository correlates with a smaller yet still positive citation advantage of 4.3% on average.

However, we do not find a significant citation advantage for sharing code. Further research is needed on additional or alternative measures of impact beyond citations. Our results are likely to be of interest to researchers, as well as publishers, research funders, and policymakers.

Arxiv :

Assessing Quality Variations in Early Career Researchers’ Data Management Plans

Author : Jukka Rantasaari

This paper aims to better understand early career researchers’ (ECRs’) research data management (RDM) competencies by assessing the contents and quality of data management plans (DMPs) developed during a multi-stakeholder RDM course. We also aim to identify differences between DMPs in relation to several background variables (e.g., discipline, course track).

The Basics of Research Data Management (BRDM) course has been held in two multi-faculty, research-intensive universities in Finland since 2020. In this study, 223 ECRs’ DMPs created in the BRDM of 2020 – 2022 were assessed, using the recommendations and criteria of the Finnish DMP Evaluation Guide + General Finnish DMP Guidance (FDEG).

The median quality of DMPs appeared to be satisfactory. The differences in rating according to FDEG’s three-point performance criteria were statistically insignificant between DMPs developed in separate years, course tracks or disciplines. However, using content analysis, differences were found between disciplines or course tracks regarding DMP’s key characteristics such as sharing, storing, and preserving data.

DMPs that contained a data table (DtDMPs) also differed highly significantly from prose DMPs. DtDMPs better acknowledged the data handling needs of different data types and improved the overall quality of a DMP.

The results illustrated that the ECRs had learned the basic RDM competencies and grasped their significance to the integrity, reliability, and reusability of data. However, more focused, further training to reach the advanced competency is needed, especially in areas of handling and sharing personal data, legal issues, long-term preserving, and funders’ data policies.

Equally important to the cultural change when RDM is an organic part of the research practices is to merge research support services, processes, and infrastructure into the research projects’ processes. Additionally, incentives are needed for sharing and reusing data.

URL : Assessing Quality Variations in Early Career Researchers’ Data Management Plans


FAIRness of Research Data in the European Humanities Landscape

Authors : Ljiljana Poljak Bilić, Kristina Posavec

This paper explores the landscape of research data in the humanities in the European context, delving into their diversity and the challenges of defining and sharing them. It investigates three aspects: the types of data in the humanities, their representation in repositories, and their alignment with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable).

By reviewing datasets in repositories, this research determines the dominant data types, their openness, licensing, and compliance with the FAIR principles. This research provides important insight into the heterogeneous nature of humanities data, their representation in the repository, and their alignment with FAIR principles, highlighting the need for improved accessibility and reusability to improve the overall quality and utility of humanities research data.

URL : FAIRness of Research Data in the European Humanities Landscape


Analysis on open data as a foundation for data-driven research

Authors : Honami Numajiri, Takayuki Hayashi

Open Data, one of the key elements of Open Science, serves as a foundation for “data-driven research” and has been promoted in many countries. However, the current status of the use of publicly available data consisting of Open Data in new research styles and the impact of such use remains unclear.

Following a comparative analysis in terms of the coverage with the OpenAIRE Graph, we analyzed the Data Citation Index, a comprehensive collection of research datasets and repositories with information of citation from articles. The results reveal that different countries and disciplines tend to show different trends in Open Data.

In recent years, the number of data sets in repositories where researchers publish their data, regardless of the discipline, has increased dramatically, and researchers are publishing more data. Furthermore, there are some disciplines where data citation rates are not high, but the databases used are diverse.

URL : Analysis on open data as a foundation for data-driven research