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Opening up and sharing research data

In July 2016, a multi-stakeholder group published The Concordat on Open Research Data providing practical principles for working with research data for researchers, institutions, and research funders'. The Concordat states that:
"...combining research publications with their data will help drive transparency, improve co-operation and strengthen the UK’s position as a global science leader." 

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/8249753609/ 

This week the first report of The Open Research Data Taskforce was published: Research data infrastructures in the UK: Landscape Report and it provides some really useful background on the drivers for opening up research data outputs, the role of publishers and research funder, as well as some of the benefits of sharing research data.

However, what really interested me was some of the challenges that the report outlined, in particular around the behavioural and cultural issues around  research data sharing. Topics covered include the slow take-up of research data services and support, researchers preference in using their own equipment to both store and preserve research data post-project (often in a closed environment), disciplinary differences and norms around data sharing, and concerns about replicability and reproducibility of research results.

One of my favourite open research blogs is Cameron Neylon's 'Science in the Open'. A great and informative blog post he recently published: As a researcher…I’m a bit bloody fed up with Data Management sums up many of the frustrations that researchers face when trying to share research data. He outlines what two resources/tools would have solved his RDM issue. As we think about services and infrastructure and support to help our research community with their RDM requirements, I think it is worth reflecting on these issues and challenges.
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