Archive experts tell data-sharing lessons and success stories

Article dated: 17 November 2011

Two of the UK Data Archive's in-house experts on data sharing and management feature prominently in a new publication, Ten Tales of Drivers & Barriers in Data Sharing.

Libby Bishop and Veerle Van den Eynden contributed an in-depth interview for the booklet, a collection of success stories and lessons learned in the area of data sharing, re-use and preservation. The publication, produced for the Opportunities for Data Exchange (ODE) project and launched at the recent Alliance for Permanent Access conference, captures current policies, practices and perspectives in the form of interviews with leaders in research infrastructures and scientific communities.

The ODE project, funded by the European Commission (FP7) is sharing these stories as evidence to support and promote the preservation and repeated use of publicly funded research data. ODE partners are members of the Alliance for Permanent Access (APA), a coalition of stakeholders who have a vested interest in ensuring that data in the public domain is protected and remains both available and accessible for research purposes.

In the Archive interview, Libby and Veerle point out that there’s currently a ‘carrots and sticks’ approach to data sharing among the research community. Funding bodies are increasingly requiring researchers to preserve and share their data, while researchers themselves are starting to organise their own secondary-analysis projects. "This is a long-term development,” they say, “and it is changing, but only slowly."

They say it’s critical to support individual researchers to create, manage and re-use data - and point to the Archive’s ESRC-endorsed best-practice guide and teaching resource. They also highlight the Archive’s work in minting digital object identifiers (DOIs) for each dataset, making the data more easily citable.

The publication is free and available in PDF format at the link below.