The purpose of this paper is to report a study of how research literature addresses researchers’ attitudes toward data repository use. In particular, the authors are interested in how the term data sharing is defined, how data repository use is reported and whether there is need for greater clarity and specificity of terminology.
To study how the literature addresses researcher data repository use, relevant studies were identified by searching Library Information Science and Technology Abstracts, Library and Information Science Source, Thomas Reuters’ Web of Science Core Collection and Scopus. A total of 62 studies were identified for inclusion in this meta-evaluation.
The study shows a need for greater clarity and consistency in the use of the term data sharing in future studies to better understand the phenomenon and allow for cross-study comparisons. Furthermore, most studies did not address data repository use specifically. In most analyzed studies, it was not possible to segregate results relating to sharing via public data repositories from other types of sharing. When sharing in public repositories was mentioned, the prevalence of repository use varied significantly.
Researchers’ data sharing is of great interest to library and information science research and practice to inform academic libraries that are implementing data services to support these researchers. This study explores how the literature approaches this issue, especially the use of data repositories, the use of which is strongly encouraged. This paper identifies the potential for additional study focused on this area.