Data sharing as social dilemma: Influence of the researcher’s personality

Here is our article on data sharing and the researchers personality. Published in PLoS ONE.

Abstract: It is widely acknowledged that data sharing has great potential for scientific progress. However, so far making data available has little impact on a researcher’s reputation. Thus, data sharing can be conceptualized as a social dilemma. In the presented study we investigated the influence of the researcher’s personality within the social dilemma of data sharing. The theoretical background was the appropriateness framework. We conducted a survey among 1564 researchers about data sharing, which also included standardized questions on selected personality factors, namely the so-called Big Five, Machiavellianism and social desirability. Using regression analysis, we investigated how these personality domains relate to four groups of dependent variables: attitudes towards data sharing, the importance of factors that might foster or hinder data sharing, the willingness to share data, and actual data sharing. Our analyses showed the predictive value of personality for all four groups of dependent variables. However, there was not a global consistent pattern of influence, but rather different compositions of effects. Our results indicate that the implications of data sharing are dependent on age, gender, and personality. In order to foster data sharing, it seems advantageous to provide more personal incentives and to address the researchers’ individual responsibility

A reputation economy: how individual reward considerations trump systemic arguments for open access to data

Fecher, B., Friesike, S., Hebing, M., Linek, S. (2017). A reputation economy: how individual reward considerations trump systemic arguments for open access to data. Palgrave Communications 3, Article number: 17051.

Open access to research data has been described as a driver of innovation and a potential cure for the reproducibility crisis in many academic fields. Against this backdrop, policy makers are increasingly advocating for making research data and supporting material openly available online. Despite its potential to further scientific progress, widespread data sharing in small science is still an ideal practised in moderation. In this article, we explore the question of what drives open access to research data using a survey among 1564 mainly German researchers across all disciplines. We show that, regardless of their disciplinary background, researchers recognize the benefits of open access to research data for both their own research and scientific progress as a whole. Nonetheless, most researchers share their data only selectively. We show that individual reward considerations conflict with widespread data sharing. Based on our results, we present policy implications that are in line with both individual reward considerations and scientific progress.

OpenAIRE as the basis for a European Open Access Platform

An exciting recent article on the LSE Impact Blog proposes a European Open Access Platform for research. This idea is very much in line with OpenAIRE’s mission of building a public research publication infrastructure and as such we welcome the authors’ vision. A public platform for the dissemination of research will become essential infrastructure to finally fully integrate research publishing and dissemination into the research lifecycle, rather than seeing it as an added-extra to be outsourced. OpenAIRE is already contributing to make such a vision a reality. We here discuss how OpenAIRE can contribute further to create a participatory, federated OA platform.