“The State of Open Data Report 2022: Researchers Need More Support to Assist With Open Data Mandates” Published by Digital Science, Figshare and Springer Nature
The State of Open Data Report 2022 was published on October 13, 2022.
From the News Release:
Researchers worldwide will need further assistance to help comply with an increasing number of open data mandates, according to the authors of a new report.
The State of Open Data Report 2022 – the latest in an annual collaborative series from Digital Science, Figshare and Springer Nature – is released today.
Based on a global survey, the report is now in its seventh year and provides insights into researchers’ attitudes towards and experiences of open data. With more than 5,400 respondents, the 2022 survey is the largest since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
This year’s report also includes guest articles from open data experts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), publishers and universities.
Primary findings from this year’s report indicated that:
- There is a growing trend in researchers being in favour of data being made openly available as common practice (4 out of every five researchers were in agreement with this), supported somewhat by now over 70% of respondents being required to follow a policy on data sharing.
- However, researchers still cite a key need in helping them to share their data as being more training or information on policies for access, sharing and reuse (55%) as well as long-term storage and data management strategies (52%).
- Credit and recognition were once again a key theme for researchers in sharing their data. Of those who had previously shared data, 66% had received some form of recognition for their efforts – most commonly via full citation in another article (41%) followed by co-authorship on a paper that had used the data.
- Researchers are more inclined to share their research data where it can have an impact on citations (67%) and the visibility of their research (61%), rather than being motivated by public benefit or journal/publisher mandate (both 56%).
The full report can be accessed on Figshare.
Key Findings via Theme of the Report
Support for open data
- Four out of every five respondents are in favour of research data being made openly available as common practice.
- 74% of respondents reported sharing their data during publication.
- Approximately one fifth of respondents reported having no concerns about sharing data openly – this proportion has been steadily growing since 2018.
- 88% of researchers surveyed are supportive of making research articles open access (OA) as a common scholarly practice.
Motivations and benefits
- When it comes to researchers sharing their data, citations of research papers (67%) and increased impact and visibility of papers (61%) outweigh public benefit or journal/publisher mandate (both 56%) as motivation.
- Of those who had previously shared data, 66% had received some form of recognition for their efforts – most commonly via full citation in another article (41%) followed by co-authorship on a paper that had used the data.
- A third of respondents indicated they had been involved in a research collaboration as a result of data they had previously shared.
Open data mandates
- 70% of respondents were required to follow a policy on data sharing for their most recent piece of research.
- More than two-thirds of respondents are supportive “to some extent” of a national mandate for making research data openly available. This number has been declining since 2019.
- Just over half (52%) of respondents in the 2022 survey felt that sharing data should be a part of the requirement for awarding research grants. Again, this number has been declining since 2019.
- Only 19% of respondents believe that researchers get sufficient credit for sharing their data, while 75% say they receive too little credit.
- Just under a quarter of respondents indicated that they had previously received support with planning, managing or sharing their research data
- The greatest concern among respondents is misuse of their data (35%).
- The key needs of researchers which were felt more training or information would improve were better understanding and definitions for policies for access, sharing and reuse (55%) as well as long-term storage and data management strategies (52%) – things that impact both ends of the research cycle.
Key demographics of respondents
- Researchers from China now comprise 11% of all respondents, equal with that of the United States. China and the US are the two countries with the biggest response to the survey, followed by India, Japan, Germany, Italy, UK, Canada, Brazil, France and Spain.
- 31% of respondents were early career researchers (ECRs), while a further 31% classed themselves as senior researchers.
- Most respondents (42%) were from medicine & life sciences; 38% from mathematics, physics and applied sciences; and 17% from humanities and social sciences (an increase of 3%).
- Respondents were broadly categorised as: Open science advocates (32%), Open publishing advocates (26%), Cautiously pro open science (25%), Open science agnostics (11%), and Non-believers of open science (6%).
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.