A Survey of Researchers’ Needs and Priorities for Data Sharing

Abstract:  One of the ways in which the publisher PLOS supports open science is via a stringent data availability policy established in 2014. Despite this policy, and more data sharing policies being introduced by other organizations, best practices for data sharing are adopted by a minority of researchers in their publications. Problems with effective research data sharing persist and these problems have been quantified by previous research as a lack of time, resources, incentives, and/or skills to share data.

In this study we built on this research by investigating the importance of tasks associated with data sharing, and researchers’ satisfaction with their ability to complete these tasks. By investigating these factors we aimed to better understand opportunities for new or improved solutions for sharing data.

In May-June 2020 we surveyed researchers from Europe and North America to rate tasks associated with data sharing on (i) their importance and (ii) their satisfaction with their ability to complete them. We received 617 completed responses. We calculated mean importance and satisfaction scores to highlight potential opportunities for new solutions to and compare different cohorts.

Tasks relating to research impact, funder compliance, and credit had the highest importance scores. 52% of respondents reuse research data but the average satisfaction score for obtaining data for reuse was relatively low. Tasks associated with sharing data were rated somewhat important and respondents were reasonably well satisfied in their ability to accomplish them. Notably, this included tasks associated with best data sharing practice, such as use of data repositories. However, the most common method for sharing data was in fact via supplemental files with articles, which is not considered to be best practice.

We presume that researchers are unlikely to seek new solutions to a problem or task that they are satisfied in their ability to accomplish, even if many do not attempt this task. This implies there are few opportunities for new solutions or tools to meet these researcher needs. Publishers can likely meet these needs for data sharing by working to seamlessly integrate existing solutions that reduce the effort or behaviour change involved in some tasks, and focusing on advocacy and education around the benefits of sharing data.

There may however be opportunities – unmet researcher needs – in relation to better supporting data reuse, which could be met in part by strengthening data sharing policies of journals and publishers, and improving the discoverability of data associated with published articles.

Tell us about your experience with Open Access!

“We have put together a short survey to learn about people’s experiences with open access. This survey asks a range of questions, and you only need to answer the ones that are relevant to you! Everyone in the scholarly community is welcome to participate, including students, publishers, and scholars.

Some of the questions you will be asked in the survey are:

Do you believe the scholarly community could do research more effectively if all scientific communication were freely available under an open access license?
Have you ever published an article open access?
What is a reasonable APC for an open access research article?
Would you prefer if peer reviews were made open? For example, so anyone could read what the reviewer recommended and anyone could know who the reviewer was.
Have you ever needed access to a research article and were unable to read it due to pay walls? …”

Motivations, concerns and selection biases when posting preprints: a survey of bioRxiv authors | bioRxiv

Abstract:  Since 2013, the usage of preprints as a means of sharing research in biology has rapidly grown, in particular via the preprint server bioRxiv. Recent studies have found that journal articles that were previously posted to bioRxiv received a higher number of citations or mentions/shares on other online platforms compared to articles in the same journals that were not posted. However, the exact causal mechanism for this effect has not been established, and may in part be related to authors’ biases in the selection of articles that are chosen to be posted as preprints. We aimed to investigate this mechanism by conducting a mixed-methods survey of 1,444 authors of bioRxiv preprints, to investigate the reasons that they post or do not post certain articles as preprints, and to make comparisons between articles they choose to post and not post as preprints. We find that authors are most strongly motivated to post preprints to increase awareness of their work and increase the speed of its dissemination; conversely, the strongest reasons for not posting preprints centre around a lack of awareness of preprints and reluctance to publicly post work that has not undergone a peer review process. We additionally find weak evidence that authors preferentially select their highest quality, most novel or most significant research to post as preprints, however, authors retain an expectation that articles they post as preprints will receive more citations or be shared more widely online than articles not posted.

 

Open Educational Resources: The Story of Change and Evolving Perceptions | Open Research Community

Perhaps no other issue involving OERs is more relevant and affecting more users, including faculty, than discoverability. All other potential issues aside, the sheer ability to keep up and filter through thousands of OERs is a skill in and of itself. OERs continue to grow at a staggering pace.

Findings on COVID-19 Detailed by Investigators at Munzur University (Academicians’ Awareness, Attitude, and Use of Open Access During the Covid-19 Pandemic). – Document – Gale Academic OneFile

“A new study on Coronavirus – COVID-19 is now available. According to news reporting from Tunceli, Turkey, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, “The aim of this research is to reveal academics’ awareness, attitude, and use of open access. In line with the research purpose, the survey research design is adopted.”

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from Munzur University, “This research consists 151 academics from 12 basic research areas; eight of them being Professor Dr, 17 being Associate Professor Dr, 49 being Doctor Lecturer, and 77 being Research Assistant or Lecturer. A questionnaire consisting of 19 open access and five demographic information questions was used for the data collection tool. The research results show that 75% of the academics have open access awareness and that their awareness is generally created by information that they obtain through the Internet and their friends. In addition, most of the academics indicate that their awareness of open access has increased during the pandemic period.”…”

Why Open Access: Economics and Business Researchers’ Perspectives

Abstract:  Public research policies have been promoting open-access publication in recent years as an adequate model for the dissemination of scientific knowledge. However, depending on the disciplines, its use is very diverse. This study explores the determinants of open-access publication among academic researchers of economics and business, as well as their assessment of different economic measures focused on publication stimulus. To do so, a survey of Spanish business and economics researchers was conducted. They reported an average of 19% of their publications in open-access journals, hybrids or fully Gold Route open access. Almost 80% of the researchers foresee a future increase in the volume of open-access publications. When determining where to publish their research results, the main criterion for the selection of a scientific journal is the impact factor. Regarding open access, the most valued aspect is the visibility and dissemination it provides. Although the cost of publication is not the most relevant criterion in the choice of a journal, three out of four researchers consider that a reduction in fees and an increase in funding are measures that would boost the open-access model.

 

Data sharing practices and data availability upon request differ across scientific disciplines | Scientific Data

Abstract:  Data sharing is one of the cornerstones of modern science that enables large-scale analyses and reproducibility. We evaluated data availability in research articles across nine disciplines in Nature and Science magazines and recorded corresponding authors’ concerns, requests and reasons for declining data sharing. Although data sharing has improved in the last decade and particularly in recent years, data availability and willingness to share data still differ greatly among disciplines. We observed that statements of data availability upon (reasonable) request are inefficient and should not be allowed by journals. To improve data sharing at the time of manuscript acceptance, researchers should be better motivated to release their data with real benefits such as recognition, or bonus points in grant and job applications. We recommend that data management costs should be covered by funding agencies; publicly available research data ought to be included in the evaluation of applications; and surveillance of data sharing should be enforced by both academic publishers and funders. These cross-discipline survey data are available from the plutoF repository.

 

Owens | Scholarly Communication Outside the R1: Measuring Faculty and Graduate Student Knowledge and Interest at a Doctoral/Professional University | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION This study explores the baseline knowledge and interest of faculty and graduate students at a Carnegie-classified Doctoral/Professional University regarding different components of scholarly communication. METHODS A survey was developed to inquire about such topics as scholarly research, scholarly publishing, access to research, copyright, measuring impact, promoting research, and open-educational resources. Responses more significantly represented the humanities and social sciences versus the natural and applied sciences. RESULTS & DISCUSSION Results showed some hesitancy in embracing the open access (OA) publishing model, especially the use of article processing charges (APCs). Faculty largely collect original data and believe public access to original data is important, but this varies by college and includes almost one-fourth of faculty who do not feel that sharing data is important. The areas in which respondents expressed the highest level of knowledge correlate directly with the areas in which respondents expressed the most interest in professional development. Preferences in professional development modality were split between virtual and in-person sessions. With virtual sessions specifically, graduate students prefer synchronous sessions while faculty prefer pre-recorded sessions. CONCLUSION Respondents were generally aware of the library’s current scholarly communications services, but additional promotion and marketing is still needed, especially for colleges with the lowest areas of engagement.

 

Bond | Faculty Survey on OER: Perceptions, Behaviors, and Implications for Library Practice | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION The Mary Couts Burnett Library at Texas Christian University (TCU) seeks to learn more about university faculty members’ perceptions and behaviors related to open educational resources (OER), and to identify one or more initiatives to increase adoption of OER at the university. METHODS The researchers sent a survey to all university faculty using Qualtrics™, and 104 persons responded. The survey used a combination of multiple-choice and free-text questions, and covered OER adoption and creation by faculty members, their perceptions of OER, and recommendations related to possible initiatives to increase OER interest. RESULTS Among respondents, almost half used OER either currently or in the past, while a fifth created their own OER. When comparing OER to traditional textbooks in terms of being scholarly, the majority indicated that OER and traditional textbooks were about the same level, but a quarter of faculty indicated that traditional textbooks were more scholarly. When asked about initiatives the library could pursue to increase faculty OER creation, the leading responses included financial support of faculty using OER, along with training opportunities. DISCUSSION The researchers were pleased to see that many faculty have used OER either currently or in the past, and that many had positive views surrounding OER. The researchers now have data that support the establishment of OER initiatives. CONCLUSION The survey informs the TCU Library and academic libraries in general. Two initiatives that libraries should consider are establishing an OER training program for faculty and developing a grant program to support faculty members who are adopting or creating OER. Libraries should collaborate with other units on campus such as the center for teaching excellence or the faculty senate.

 

Lo | The Factors Significant to the Introduction of Institutional Open Access Policies: Two Case Studies of R-1 Universities | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION US universities are increasingly unable to afford research journal subscriptions due to the rising prices charged by for-profit academic publishers. Open access (OA) appears to be the most backed option to disrupt the current publishing model. The purpose of this study is to understand the factors significant to the introduction of institutional OA policies at selected United States R-1 universities. METHODS An in-depth qualitative study, including interviews with stakeholders, was conducted on two R-1universities with OA policies that have been implemented for at least five years. results The results of this study reveal that while the perceived sustainability of the scholarly communication business model was an initial driver, open dissemination of knowledge was the primary factor for the development of institutional policies. discussion Open dissemination of knowledge aligns with the mission of both institutions. Interviewees believe that a wider and more open dissemination of the institution’s research cost could positively affect their faculty’s research impact, which could then affect the institution’s reputation, rankings, classifications and funding. CONCLUSION While the initial driver for exploring OA scholarly communication for both institutions was the perceived unsustainability of the scholarly communication model, the most important factor that led to the creation of their policies was the desire to disseminate the faculty’s scholarship.

 

Kakai | An analysis of the factors affecting open access to research output in institutional repositories in selected universities in East Africa | Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication

Abstract:  INTRODUCTION Institutional repositories (IRs) present universities with an opportunity to provide global open access (OA) to their scholarship, however, this avenue was underutilised in two of the three universities in this study. This study aimed at proposing interventions to improve access to research output in IRs in universities in East Africa, and it adds to the depth of knowledge on IRs by pointing out the factors that limit OA in IRs, some of which include lack of government and funder support for OA and mediated content collection workflows that hardly involved seeking author permission to self-archive. METHODS A mixed methods approach, following a concurrent strategy was used to investigate the low level of OA in IRs. Data was collected from three purposively selected IRs in universities in East Africa, using self-administered questionnaires from 183 researchers and face-to-face interviews from six librarians. results The findings revealed that content was collected on a voluntary basis, with most of the research output deposited in the IR without the authors’ knowledge. The respondents in this study were, however, supportive of the activities of the IR, and would participate in providing research output in the IR as OA if required to do so. CONCLUSION The low level of OA in IRs in universities in East Africa could be increased by improving the IR workflow, collection development, and marketing processes. Self-archiving could be improved by increasing the researchers’ awareness and knowledge of OA and importance of IRs, while addressing their concerns about copyright infringement.

 

DORA receives $1.2M grant from Arcadia to accelerate research assessment reform | DORA

“Research assessment reform is part of the open research movement in academia that asks the question: Who and what is research for? The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), an initiative that operates under the sponsorship of the American Society for Cell Biology, has been awarded a 3-year, $1.2M grant from Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. The generous funding will support Tools to Advance Research Assessment (TARA), a project to facilitate the development of new policies and practices for academic career assessment. Project TARA is a collaboration with Sarah de Rijcke, Professor in Science and Evaluation Studies and director of the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) at Leiden University, and Ruth Schmidt, Associate Professor at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

The grant for Project TARA will help DORA to identify, understand, and make visible the criteria and standards universities use to make hiring, promotion, and tenure decisions. This information will be used to create resources and practical guidance on the reform of research assessment for academic and scholarly institutions. The grant provides DORA with crucial support to create the following outputs:

An interactive online dashboard that tracks criteria and standards academic institutions use for hiring, review, promotion, and tenure.
A survey of U.S. academic institutions to gain a broad understanding of institutional attitudes and approaches to research assessment reform.
A toolkit of resources informed by the academic community to support academic institutions working to improve policy and practice….”

Factors that influence data sharing through data sharing platforms: A qualitative study on the views and experiences of cohort holders and platform developers

Abstract:  Background

Infrastructures are being developed to enhance and facilitate the sharing of cohort data internationally. However, empirical studies show that many barriers impede sharing data broadly.

Purpose

Therefore, our aim is to describe the barriers and concerns for the sharing of cohort data, and the implications for data sharing platforms.

Methods

Seventeen participants involved in developing data sharing platforms or tied to cohorts that are to be submitted to platforms were recruited for semi-structured interviews to share views and experiences regarding data sharing.

Results

Credit and recognition, the potential misuse of data, loss of control, lack of resources, socio-cultural factors and ethical and legal barriers are elements that influence decisions on data sharing. Core values underlying these reasons are equality, reciprocity, trust, transparency, gratification and beneficence.

Conclusions

Data generators might use data sharing platforms primarily for collaborative modes of working and network building. Data generators might be unwilling to contribute and share for non-collaborative work, or if no financial resources are provided for sharing data.

Attitudes and practices of open data, preprinting, and peer-review—A cross sectional study on Croatian scientists

Baždari? K, Vrki? I, Arh E, Mavrinac M, Gligora Markovi? M, Bili?-Zulle L, et al. (2021) Attitudes and practices of open data, preprinting, and peer-review—A cross sectional study on Croatian scientists. PLoS ONE 16(6): e0244529. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0244529

Abstract: Attitudes towards open peer review, open data and use of preprints influence scientists’ engagement with those practices. Yet there is a lack of validated questionnaires that measure these attitudes. The goal of our study was to construct and validate such a questionnaire and use it to assess attitudes of Croatian scientists. We first developed a 21-item questionnaire called Attitudes towards Open data sharing, preprinting, and peer-review (ATOPP), which had a reliable four-factor structure, and measured attitudes towards open data, preprint servers, open peer-review and open peer-review in small scientific communities. We then used the ATOPP to explore attitudes of Croatian scientists (n = 541) towards these topics, and to assess the association of their attitudes with their open science practices and demographic information. Overall, Croatian scientists’ attitudes towards these topics were generally neutral, with a median (Md) score of 3.3 out of max 5 on the scale score. We also found no gender (P = 0.995) or field differences (P = 0.523) in their attitudes. However, attitudes of scientist who previously engaged in open peer-review or preprinting were higher than of scientists that did not (Md 3.5 vs. 3.3, P<0.001, and Md 3.6 vs 3.3, P<0.001, respectively). Further research is needed to determine optimal ways of increasing scientists’ attitudes and their open science practices.

Exploring Open Access Practices, Attitudes, and Policies in Academic Libraries

Preprint at: https://ir.library.illinoisstate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1128&context=fpml

Abstract:  This article reports the results of a 2019 survey of academic librarians that investigated their attitudes, practices, and policies regarding open access (OA). This study asks if academic librarians write policies to ensure that they approach OA intentionally and systematically across all library services. The results indicate that, though librarians report favorable beliefs about OA and integrating OA into technical and public services, they seldom create OA policies.