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Open data becoming more acceptable to researchers

Survey shows that most researchers think data should be freely available

by Andrea Widener
October 14, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 37


Researchers worldwide are becoming more open to sharing their data, a survey of 6,000 researchers shows.

The State of Open Data, an annual survey in its seventh year, is conducted by the software company Figshare, the technology firm Digital Science, and the publisher Springer Nature. Most responses came from people in Asia (38%) and Europe (33%); 13% were from North America.

Among the findings, around 80% of researchers said that data should be openly available, and 74% said that they have shared their data during publishing. Most respondents (70%) said they were required to follow a data-sharing policy for their research.

Researchers said they are motivated to share their data primarily because it increases citations to their research papers (67%) and enhances the impact and visibility of those papers (61%). Journal or publisher mandates for scientists to share data freely and efforts to benefit the public also provided motivation for researchers (56%).

Most respondents (55%) said they could use more training or information on open data. Most (72%) said they would go to an internal source at their institution—such as a colleague, library, or research office—for help making their data openly available. They were also willing to get support from publishers (41%) and their institution (38%).

Of respondents who had shared data before, 75% said they received too little credit. Only 35% said they were concerned about misuse of their data.


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