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    Collaboration and concerted action are key to making open data a reality

Collaboration and concerted action are key to making open data a reality

The case for open data is increasingly inarguable. Improved data practice can help to address concerns about reproducibility and research integrity, reducing fraud and improving patient outcomes, for example. Research also shows good data practice can lead to improved productivity and increased citations. However, as Grace Baynes reports, recent survey data shows that while the research community recognises the […]

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    Journal policies that encourage data sharing prove extremely effective

Journal policies that encourage data sharing prove extremely effective

There is currently little incentive for researchers to share their data. But what if it was enough for journals to simply ask authors to make their data available? Michèle B. Nuijten reports on a recent study that found journal policies that encourage data sharing to be extremely effective, with a steep increase in the percentage of articles with open […]

Starter tips on sharing data and analysis scripts

Researchers are increasingly encouraged to make their data openly accessible and usable for others. To early-career researchers in particular, this can seem daunting, with different considerations when posting data publicly rather than retaining it solely for internal use. Katherine Wood has compiled a short open data starter guide to make the process less overwhelming and help researchers do their bit […]

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    Survey findings suggest both individuals and institutions can do more to promote open science practices in India

Survey findings suggest both individuals and institutions can do more to promote open science practices in India

How much have the open science movement’s practices and principles permeated researcher behaviour and attitudes in India? Arul George Scaria, Satheesh Menon and Shreyashi Ray have conducted a survey among researchers working across five different disciplines in India and reveal that more can be done to promote open science within its research institutions. While a majority of respondents believe open […]

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    Formalised data citation practices would encourage more authors to make their data available for reuse

Formalised data citation practices would encourage more authors to make their data available for reuse

It is increasingly common for researchers to make their data freely available. This is often a requirement of funding agencies but also consistent with the principles of open science, according to which all research data should be shared and made available for reuse. Once data is reused, the researchers who have provided access to it should be acknowledged for […]

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    Science is a social process: facilitating community interactions across the research lifecycle

Science is a social process: facilitating community interactions across the research lifecycle

Modern day research practice is incredibly collaborative, increasingly interdisciplinary and a very social process. Sierra Williams underlines the importance of researchers and publishers alike recognising publication as one aspect of a much wider social process. By way of introduction to her role at peer-reviewed open access publisher PeerJ, she reflects on the purpose of community in science communication.

Where do […]

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    Can data sharing improve public services? Lessons for Parliament

Can data sharing improve public services? Lessons for Parliament

The Digital Economy Bill, currently passing through Parliament, includes proposals for HMRC information on benefits recipients to be shared with the Department of Energy and Climate Change, in order to identify citizens living in fuel poverty. Sharing data between government departments for policy purposes is not so straightforward, explains Edgar Whitley, outlining some of the key issues that must be […]

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    A matter of integrity: Can improved curation efforts prevent the next data sharing disaster?

A matter of integrity: Can improved curation efforts prevent the next data sharing disaster?

Wider openness and access to data may be a necessary first step for scientific and social innovation, but as the controversial release of OK Cupid data highlights, open data efforts must also consider the quality and reproducibility of this data. What would it take for data curation to routinely consider quality and reproducibility as standard practice? Limor Peer suggests some future directions to […]

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    Taking Culture Seriously: How can we build positive change and coherent practice within our research communities?

Taking Culture Seriously: How can we build positive change and coherent practice within our research communities?

Change in higher education often progresses slowly. If scholars are serious about wanting to change disciplinary and institutional cultures and not merely to wait for Cultural Change to magically happen, Cameron Neylon argues we need to consider the differing approaches to how certain cultures operate, interact and eventually change. Ultimately, change in higher education requires a variety of levers […]

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    Credit where credit is due: Research parasites and tackling misconceptions about academic data sharing

Credit where credit is due: Research parasites and tackling misconceptions about academic data sharing

Benedikt Fecher and Gert G. Wagner look at a recent editorial which faced considerable criticism for typecasting researchers who use or build on previous datasets as “research parasites”. They argue that the authors appear to miss the point, not only of data sharing, but of scientific research more broadly. But as problematic as the editorial may be, it points to […]

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    Who’s afraid of Open Data: Scientists’ objections to data sharing don’t stand up to scrutiny.

Who’s afraid of Open Data: Scientists’ objections to data sharing don’t stand up to scrutiny.

Many scientists are still resisting calls to openly share underlying data. Whilst their concerns should be taken seriously, Dorothy Bishop doesn’t think the objections withstand scrutiny. Concerns about being scooped are frequently cited, but are seldom justified. If we move to a situation where a dataset is a publication, then the original researcher will get credit every time someone else uses […]

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    Permission to tweet? The underlying principles of good science communication are all about sharing.

Permission to tweet? The underlying principles of good science communication are all about sharing.

Terry Wheeler was at the 100th annual conference of the Ecological Society of America last week. Alongside community shifts towards openness, the rise of Twitter has led to a huge shift in the way science is shared. But with little explanation from the organisers, a confusing opt-in policy for live-tweeting was implemented. Social media is one of the most powerful tools scientists […]

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    Is withholding your data simply bad science, or should it fall under scientific misconduct?

Is withholding your data simply bad science, or should it fall under scientific misconduct?

A recent study sent data requests to 200 authors of economics articles where it was stated ‘data available upon request’. Most of the authors refused. What does the scientific community think about those withholding their data? Are they guilty of scientific misconduct? Nicole Janz argues that if you don’t share your data, you are breaking professional standards in research, and are […]

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    Reputation instead of obligation: forging new policies to motivate academic data sharing.

Reputation instead of obligation: forging new policies to motivate academic data sharing.

Despite strong support from funding agencies and policy makers academic data sharing sees hardly any adoption among researchers. Current policies that try to foster academic data sharing fail, as they try to either motivate researchers to share for the common good or force researchers to publish their data. Instead, Dr Sascha Friesike, Benedikt Fecher, Marcel Hebing, and Stephanie Linek argue that […]

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    Incentives for open science: New prizes to encourage research integrity and transparency in social science.

Incentives for open science: New prizes to encourage research integrity and transparency in social science.

The high-profile political science study on same-sex marriage views in the U.S., now determined to be fraudulent, is the latest case exposing the need for incentive structures that make academic research open, transparent, and replicable. The U.S. study has been retracted, largely thanks to the discovery of inconsistencies in the data by an outside group. The academic community must […]

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    Academia is a reputation economy — data-sharing policies should take incentives into account.

Academia is a reputation economy — data-sharing policies should take incentives into account.

Data sharing has the potential to facilitate wider collaboration and foster scientific progress. But while 88% of researchers in a recent study confirmed they would like to use shared data, only 13% had actually made their own data publicly available. Benedikt Fecher, Sascha Friesike, Marcel Hebing, Stephanie Linek, and Armin Sauermann look at the mismatch between ideal and reality and argue that academia is a reputation […]

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    Introduction to Open Science: Why data versioning and data care practices are key for science and social science.

Introduction to Open Science: Why data versioning and data care practices are key for science and social science.

A significant shift in how researchers approach their data is needed if transparent and reproducible research practices are to be broadly advanced. Carly Strasser has put together a useful guide to embracing open science, pitched largely at graduate students. But the tips shared will be of interest far beyond the completion of a PhD. If time is spent up front thinking about file […]

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    Standards for scientific graphic presentation: Interactive figures could significantly improve understanding of data.

Standards for scientific graphic presentation: Interactive figures could significantly improve understanding of data.

Over the previous hundred years, a lot of work has gone into standardizing the way scientific data is presented. All of this knowledge has been largely forgotten. Jure Triglav wants us to bring the past back to life. Drawing on lessons learned from the New York City subway system and the graphic standards of 1914, he argues for the […]

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    Book Review: Managing and Sharing Research Data: A Guide to Good Practice by Louise Corti et al.

Book Review: Managing and Sharing Research Data: A Guide to Good Practice by Louise Corti et al.

Research funders across the world are implementing data management and sharing policies to maximize openness of data, transparency and accountability of the research they support. This guide aims to cover guidance on how to plan your research using a data management checklist, how to format and organize data, and how to publish and cite data. This is a useful guide for students […]

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    The Outing of the Medical Profession: Data marathons to open clinical research gates to frontline service providers.

The Outing of the Medical Profession: Data marathons to open clinical research gates to frontline service providers.

Could greater data transparency across the medical field solve the problem of unreliable evidence? Dr. Leo Anthony Celi charts the efforts to improve the publicly available MIMIC database, a creation of the public-private partnership between MIT, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Philips Health-Care, through a series of data marathons. Data scientists, nurses, clinicians and doctors are coming together to collaborate and answer clinically […]

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