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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SYSTEMATICS OF HEMIPTERA AND RELATED GROUPS: PLANT PESTS, PREDATORS, AND DISEASE VECTORS

Location: Systematic Entomology

Title: Willing and unwilling to share primary biodiversity data: results and implications of an international survey

Authors
item Huang, X. -
item Hawkins, B. -
item Lei, F. -
item Miller, Gary
item Favret, C. -

Submitted to: Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 25, 2012
Publication Date: July 6, 2012
Citation: Huang, X., Hawkins, B.A., Lei, F., Miller, G.L., Favret, C. 2012. Willing and unwilling to share primary biodiversity data: results and implications of an international survey. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 5(5):399-406.

Interpretive Summary: Biodiversity and conservation studies often involve a great degree of cooperation and collaboration among scientists. This international survey was undertaken to study attitudes, experiences and expectations regarding the sharing of biodiversity data and data archiving policies of researchers. The results show that most respondents are willing to share paper-related biodiversity data, but more than sixty percent of respondents are unwilling to share primary data before publishing. A major concern for researchers is appropriate benefits from data sharing (e.g., credit, co-authorship, citation rates, improved institutional assessment systems). Most respondents would accept data archiving policies by the journals. Researchers also express concerns about how to easily and efficiently deal with their data as well as data quality in public databases. Expectations for biodiversity databases include standardization of data format, user-friendly data submission tools, formats for different types of data and coordination among databases. Results from the survey leads to several suggestions for improving data sharing and archiving by individual scientists, organizations, journals and databases.

Technical Abstract: Biodiversity studies and conservation programs increasingly depend on data sharing and integration. But many researchers resist sharing their primary biodiversity data. This international survey was conducted to study the attitudes, experiences and expectations regarding the sharing of biodiversity data and data archiving policies of researchers. The results show that most respondents are willing to share paper-related biodiversity data, but more than sixty percent of respondents are unwilling to share primary data before publishing. Results indicate an undeveloped culture of data sharing and several major technological and operational barriers. A major concern for researchers is appropriate benefits from data sharing (e.g., credit, co-authorship, citation rates, improved institutional assessment systems). Most respondents would accept data archiving policies by the journals. Researchers also express concerns about how to easily and efficiently deal with their data as well as data quality in public databases. Expectations for biodiversity databases include standardization of data format, user-friendly data submission tools, formats for different types of data and coordination among databases. The survey leads to several suggestions for improving data sharing and archiving by individual scientists, organizations, journals and databases.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
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