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.

The time for open science is now

“UNESCO is developing a Recommendation on Open Science which will be submitted to member states for approval in November 2021….

This calls for new types of funding arrangement between universities and publishers or funding agencies and publishers that are in a position to offer sustainable alternatives to either the ‘author-pays’ or ‘reader-pays’ models….

There is a growing number of viable alternatives to the author-pays system. These range from national or regional funding agreements to membership-based systems or co-operatives grouping multiple institutions. Among the latter is SciELO. This network now encompasses 16 countries in Latin America and Europe, along with South Africa. Similarly, AmeliCA and Latindex have been designed as regional networks composed of public institutions and research agencies from different countries….

With UNESCO being the sole United Nations agency with a mandate for science, it was logical that it should take up the question of open science. In 2019, UNESCO’s 193 member states tasked the Secretariat with developing an international standard-setting instrument in the form of a Recommendation on Open Science, to be adopted in November 2021. These instructions emanated from the Organization’s supreme governing body, the General Conference, which meets every two years….

As we move towards a global consensus on the issue, the first draft text of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science has defined open science as an umbrella concept combining various movements and practices aiming to:l make scientific knowledge, methods, data and evidence freely available and accessible to everyone;l increase scientific collaboration and the sharing of information for the benefit of both science and society; andl open the process of scientific knowledge creation and circulation to societal actors situated beyond the institutionalized scientific community….”

As we move towards a global consensus on the issue, the first draft text of the UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science has defined open science as an umbrella concept combining various movements and practices aiming to:l make scientific knowledge, methods, data and evidence freely available and accessible to everyone;l increase scientific collaboration and the sharing of information for the benefit of both science and society; andl open the process of scientific knowledge creation and circulation to societal actors situated beyond the institutionalized scientific community.

Informationsplattform Open Access: UNESCO Science Report 2021: The Time for Open Science is Now

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently presented the UNESCO Science Report 2021 titled The Race against Time for Smarter Development ahead of the G7 meeting. In the series, the organisation observes worldwide developments in science policy. The current report describes in essays and studies how different countries are using science to realise a digitally and environmentally smart future. In the essay The Time for Open Science is Now, the authors argue, among other things, for the expansion of open science and open access. That way, they point out, science and research can contribute their full potential to sustainable development in the face of climate change and pandemics.

Catalyzing the Creation of a Repository Network in the US – COAR

“COAR and SPARC have a shared vision of creating a global, open knowledge sharing system that centers diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we believe repositories play a central role in achieving this vision.

This is an important moment in time, in which open scholarship is more visible and widely-embraced than ever before. The urgency of addressing the COVID-19 pandemic has led many researchers to eagerly embrace new, faster ways of sharing their research papers, data, and more via repositories and other open platforms. There is a renewed interest in community ownership of both infrastructure and content, and a spotlight on empowering author’s rights retention due to new funder requirements, such as Plan S. There is also a growing recognition of the pressing need to intentionally build channels for greater inclusiveness and diversity of voices in the research communication system, as underscored in the UNESCO draft recommendations which were developed through consensus by over 100 member countries.

Yet, against this backdrop of encouraging developments, the trend toward commercial concentration in the publishing industry continues unabated. This consolidation exacerbates a number of serious problems in the system, including unacceptably high and ever-increasing costs for subscriptions and APCs (article processing charges). It also contributes to a steady decline in the diversity of publishing outlets and options – decreasing bibliodiversity, which is fundamental for a healthy ecosystem.

Individual repositories and a global repository network are critical infrastructure that provide the community with means for resisting this consolidation. Repositories are localized and can respond to different users’ needs, advancing equity and diversity in the scholarly communications ecosystem. When they are resourced properly, they are sustainable and long-lived, and because they are mostly managed by research institutions and their libraries, they are operated in a manner consistent with the academic community’s values. Moreover, repositories exemplify the key role institutions must play in preserving, curating, and making accessible content that would otherwise be unavailable to the world….”

Harnessing digital technologies to advance research and knowledge in the South | INASP

“To formulate appropriate policy and practical responses policy makers, practitioners and researchers in Africa, Asia and Latin America need knowledge and ideas that are rooted in their own contexts, and which address their specific problems and needs.

Too often, knowledge produced in the North dominates the search results, papers and reports that can be easily accessed online. Limited digitisation of research reports and data makes it difficult for knowledge users to access and build on relevant existing work in their field. …

Our vision is of a digital platform that makes Southern knowledge more visible, and which empowers experts and practitioners in the South to learn, to create new knowledge and collaborate to solve their own priority problems.

We want to build a community-driven, social learning environment to: 

Grow a global, connected community, spanning different disciplinary and thematic expertise, creating a critical mass of knowledge and experience that enables questions to be answered quickly and allowing members to overcome knowledge barriers that they encounter 
Connect evidence producers and evidence users and provide spaces through which they can identify research questions and develop new initiatives 
Facilitate access to Southern transdisciplinary research through intelligent search algorithms  
Provide a foundation from which research institutions can be supported and empowered to develop their own in-house learning programmes, connecting digital communities to locally-run, in-person training and mentoring, and offering routes towards institutional sustainability.  …”

Call for partners: Empowering Southern researchers and evidence professionals through an AI-enabled social learning platform | INASP Blog

“INASP believes there is an opportunity to leverage new technologies in service of Southern knowledge systems, and we seek partners to work with us to identify possibilities and to test and build new tools.

We are inviting proposals from Africa, Asia and Latin America for small grants of approximately $3000 (£2,100) to enable groups to organise and host a series of discovery workshops to explore these ideas further….”

Open Future

“Numerous organisations and initiatives have been launched with a belief in openness and free knowledge. Their proponents placed their bets on the combined power of networked information services and new governance models for the production and sharing of content and data. We – as members of this broad movement – were among those who believed it possible to leverage this combination of power and opportunity to build a more democratic society, unleashing the power of the internet to create universal access to knowledge and culture. For us, such openness meant not only freedom, but also presented a path to justice and equality….

The open revolution that we imagined did not, however, happen. At least not on the scale that we and many other proponents of free culture expected.

Nevertheless, the growing Open movement demonstrated the viability of our ideas. As proof we have Wikipedia, Open Government data initiatives, the ascent of Open Access publishing, the role of free software in powering the infrastructure of the internet and the gradual opening of the collections of many cultural heritage institutions….

Over time, we have observed the significant evolution of our movement’s normative basis – away from a justification based on the voluntary exercise of rights by individual creators and towards a justification based on the production of social goods….

Over the last decade, we have witnessed a wholesale transformation of the networked information ecosystem. The web moved away from the ideals and the open design of the early internet and turned into an environment that is dominated by a small number of platforms….

The concentration of power in the hands of a small number of information intermediaries negates one of the core assumptions of the Open movement….”

over 33TB of distributed data to secure the future of open science – SamaGame

“The good news is that we had more and more data, little by little, the internet was filling up with repositories, APIs and open databases with which to work. The bad news is that, for that very reason, the transfer of this huge data set was increasingly cumbersome, strenuous and expensive….

Cohen and Lo began to think about the problem and came to a conclusion that today may seem obvious: the best tool to transfer large files was BitTorrent. Why not develop a solution based on the world’s best-known p2p exchange protocol? Thus was born Academic Torrents….

The main obstacle was not technical. It was social. In these four years of work, the hardest thing has been convincing the researchers that a technology as demonized as torrents could have legitimate scientific use. And not only that because, once they convinced the researchers, they touched an even tougher bone: convincing the institutions….”

Latin America could become a world leader in non-commercial open science

“In the 1990s, new repositories and databases were born that would become pillars of a solid infrastructure for open-access scientific communication. With the launch of the open access journals databases Latindex, SciELO and Redalyc, the digitisation of scientific journals was given a boost and a quality seal was granted to published research. With a strong public imprint, these repositories acted as a springboard for the development of non-commercial open access environment that is today the hallmark of the region.

Latin America now has the optimal conditions to create open science infrastructure that capitalises on these previous efforts. And two examples stand out.

Brazil’s BrCris was developed by the Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia alongside major national public agencies. Brazil is an immense country, with a professionalised scientific and technological system that has produced many databases on a national scale, making integration a huge challenge. Examples include the Open Data Portal, the CV system Plataforma Lattes and the directory of research groups known as CNPQ….

The second case is that of the PerúCRIS platform. It was first devised when Peru approved its Open Access Law in 2013. The need then arose to integrate three scientific information platforms: the directory of researchers, the national directory of institutions and the national network of repositories. The new platform also includes all undergraduate and graduate theses….”

OAPEN Foundation 2020 Annual Report

In 2020, the OAPEN Foundation celebrated its 10 year anniversary as an open infrastructure service for open access (OA) books, providing services to publishers, libraries, and research funders in the areas of hosting, deposit, quality assurance, dissemination, and digital preservation. The mission of OAPEN to increase discoverability of OA books and to build trust around OA books has been leading us through a challenging year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Digital Platform Empowers Public Libraries and Patrons, Boosts Equitable Access to Knowledge | DPLA

“A powerful partnership of industry leaders today announced The Palace Project, a transformational, library-centered platform for digital content and services.  

The Palace Project, with a $5 million investment by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation for LYRASIS, and in strategic partnership with Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), will develop and scale a robust suite of content, services, and tools for the delivery of ebooks, audiobooks, and other digital media to benefit public libraries and patrons.  …”