"The Interdependence of Data Producers and Data Users: How Researchers’ Behaviors Can Support or Hinder Each Other"

Sharing and reusing data is widely viewed as advancing knowledge, but researchers often view it as a burdensome and time-consuming process. We sought to identify specific research practices that have the potential to decrease burden and increase benefits for researchers from any discipline while retaining the broad scholarly benefits, complementing investigations that have identified approaches and standards within specific fields. We conducted a literature search and engaged in qualitative interviews with 20 academic researchers who had diverse disciplinary backgrounds and experience sharing and/or reusing publicly accessible data. The connection points between data producers and data users throughout the data sharing and reuse cycle indicate that sharing and reusing data is an interdependent process, meaning producers and users depend on each other to achieve their respective goals successfully and efficiently. For example, data producers can simplify and ease the user’s work of finding data by posting on a visible repository or directly linking to their data in publications. Relatedly, data users who perceive the linked nature of reuse can simplify the producer’s ability to track impact of the data and facilitate the reward and credit the producer receives by citing the data products in publications. We highlight areas of interdependencies throughout the research process and provide recommendations for data producers and users to make their sharing and reuse practices, respectively, more efficient. We also recommend practices to reduce burden for producers, who bear the initial effort in preparing data properly for reuse. Because many of our participants did not consider the downstream success and impact of their data and the researchers who produce and use data, we call for increased awareness of the interconnections between producers and users as an important step to reduce burden and increase the effectiveness of data sharing and reuse.


| Research Data Publication and Citation Bibliography | Research Data Sharing and Reuse Bibliography | Research Data Curation and Management Bibliography | Digital Scholarship |

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Author: Charles W. Bailey, Jr.

Charles W. Bailey, Jr.