Researchers need more support to help with open data mandates » Posted by Digital Science, Figshare and Springer Nature

The State of Open Data 2022 report was released on October 13, 2022.

Excerpt from the press release:

According to the authors of a new report, researchers around the world will need additional assistance to comply with a growing number of open data mandates.

State of Open Data Report 2022 — the latest in an annual collaborative series from Digital Science, Figshare, and Springer Nature — is released today.

Based on a global survey, the report is now in its seventh year and provides insight into researchers’ attitudes and experiences with open data. With more than 5,400 respondents, the 2022 survey is the largest since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s report also includes guest articles from open data experts from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS ), publishers and universities.

[Clip]

Key findings from this year’s report indicate that:

  • There is a increasing tendency of researchers to favor the open availability of data as common practice (4 out of five researchers agreed with this), supported somewhat now more than 70% of respondents being required to follow a data sharing policy.
  • However, researchers consistently cite a key need to help them share their data as more training or information access, sharing and reuse policies (55%) as well as long-term storage and data management strategies (52%).
  • Credit and recognition was once again a key theme for researchers in sharing their data. Of those who had previously shared data, 66% had received some form of recognition for their efforts – most often via a full citation in another article (41%) followed by co-writing on an article that had used the data.
  • Researchers are more likely to share their research data where it can impact citations (67%) and the visibility of their research (61%)rather than being motivated by the public interest or the mandate of a newspaper/publisher (both 56%).

The full report is available on Figshare.

[Clip]

Key Findings by Report Theme

Open data support

  • Four out of five respondents support the open availability of research data as standard practice.
  • 74% of respondents said they share their data when posting.
  • About a fifth of respondents said they weren’t worried about open data sharing – this proportion has been rising steadily since 2018.
  • 88% of researchers surveyed support the creation of open access (OA) research articles as standard scientific practice.

Motives and benefits

  • When it comes to data sharing by researchers, citations of research articles (67%) and increased impact and visibility of articles (61%) outweigh the public interest or mandate of the journal/publisher (both 56%) as motivation.
  • Of those who had previously shared data, 66% had received some form of recognition for their efforts – most often via a full citation in another article (41%) followed by co-writing on an article that had used the data.
  • A third of respondents indicated that they had participated in a research collaboration as a result of data they had previously shared.

Open Data Mandates

  • 70% of respondents were required to follow a data sharing policy for their most recent search.
  • More than two-thirds of respondents “somewhat” support a national mandate to make research data freely available. This number has been declining since 2019.
  • Just over half (52%) of respondents to the 2022 survey felt that data sharing should be part of the requirement for awarding research grants. Again, this number has been declining since 2019.

Disadvantages

  • Only 19% of respondents think researchers get enough credit for sharing their data, while 75% say they get too little credit.
  • Just under a quarter of respondents said they had ever received help planning, managing or sharing their research data
  • Respondents’ main concern is the misuse of their data (35%).
  • The top researcher needs that they felt would improve training or information were better understanding and definitions of access, sharing and reuse policies (55%) as well as long-term storage and data management (52%) – things that impact both ends of the research cycle.

Key Respondent Demographics

  • Chinese researchers now make up 11% of all respondents, on par with those in the United States. China and the United States are the two countries that responded the most to the survey, followed by India, Japan, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil , France and Spain.
  • 31% of respondents were early career researchers (ECRs), while a further 31% classified themselves as senior researchers.
  • Most respondents (42%) were from the medical and life sciences; 38% in mathematics, physics and applied sciences; and 17% from the humanities and social sciences (an increase of 3%).
  • Respondents were broadly categorized as open science advocates (32%), open publishing advocates (26%), open science cautiously supportive (25%), open science agnostic (11%) and non-believers of open science (6%) .

Join the conversation on #StateOfOpenData

Direct to complete the press release

Straight to the State of Open Data 2022 Report

Filed Under: Companies (Publishers/Vendors), Data Files, Funding, Journal Articles, Management & Leadership, News, Open Access, Publishing, Springer Nature

About Gary Price

Gary Price ([email protected]) is a librarian, writer, consultant and frequent speaker based in the Washington DC metro area. He received his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards, including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program Alumnus of the Year. From 2006 to 2009, he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ, an innovation research consultancy that supports enterprise product and business model teams with just-in-time fact finding and insight.

Amanda J. Marsh