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Barriers to Data Sharing: New Evidence from a US Survey

Presenter 1
Amy Pienta
Presenter 2
George Alter
Presenter 3
Jared Lyle

Recent studies demonstrate that the majority of social science data is not preserved or shared through social science data archives and other formal archival arrangements. This motivates further investigation about the various ways researchers share their data (including more “informal” data sharing) and the factors that underlie their data sharing behavior. We developed a survey to collect information from principal investigators (PIs) of federally funded research grants in the US about their experiences with data sharing (n=1,021). We also collected information about various factors that might be related to data sharing behavior including: normative data sharing practices in their discipline, perceived barriers to data sharing, rank/tenure, institutional type, gender and so on. We find that while only 12% of the PIs have archived their data, 45% have shared their data outside the immediate research team. Being in a discipline that favors data sharing is positively associated with the likelihood that a PI shares his or her research data. Perceived barriers to data sharing reduce the likelihood one shares data. Other factors associated with data sharing include rank/tenure status and duration of the grant. Implications for data archives are also discussed.

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