Scholarly article on topic 'In between data sharing and reuse: Shareability, availability and reusability in diverse contexts'

In between data sharing and reuse: Shareability, availability and reusability in diverse contexts Academic research paper on "Social and economic geography"

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Academic research paper on topic "In between data sharing and reuse: Shareability, availability and reusability in diverse contexts"

In Between Data Sharing and Reuse: Shareability, Availability and Reusability in Diverse Contexts

Renata Curty

Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Brazil.

Ayoung Yoon

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, USA.

Wei Jeng

National Taiwan University, Taiwan.


Although data availability cannot be considered the sole predictor of effective reuse, because only accessible and well-managed data can make reuse possible, data reuse is contingent on the availability of data. It is critical to understand the nature of shareability, availability and reusability, and their synergy and relationships, to further understand the dynamics of data reuse practices in multiple environments and contexts.

This panel aims to closely examine aspects related to data shareability, availability and reusability, based on the assumption that each condition poses a cumulative effect on each other and impacts the efficiency and efficacy of the research data reuse process. The panelists will present their findings and perspectives regarding data availability, between academic and non-academic; data shareability and data reusability, social sciences and earth science, researchers' and journal publishers' perspectives. Presentations will be followed by an interactive session taking the team-based approach, with the expectation to engage participants in discussion and experience-sharing, and to contribute in terms of practice and research with the current knowledge and applications.


research data, data availability, data reuse, data sharing, reusability, data curation


The potential for data reuse to impact scientific research and help solve many social problems is increasingly recognized. Research data reuse can only be accomplished through data sharing and availability (Hey, Tansely & Tolle, 2009) and has immediate and long-term benefits to discovery and innovation, including the ability to extract additional value from data, ask new questions of existing data, reexamine existing scientific theories and

80th Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Washington, DC, VA | Oct. 27-Nov. 1, 2017

Authors Retain Copyright

Angela Murillo

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, USA. apmurill@iu.ed

models, and to enable reproducible research (Borgman, 2012). On this note, Fabic, Choi, & Bird (2012) demonstrate how increased availability and proliferated data stimulate peer- reviewed research as well as evidence-based policy and program development.

There is little discussion about how data producers and reusers handling data shareability, availability and reusability outside of the context of higher education institutions, research centers and laboratories. The availability of data, the ability and motivation to share data and reuse data has increased significantly with the proliferation of data repositories and infrastructures dedicated to house data for further reuse. It is thus critical to understand their synergy and relationships, to further understand the dynamics of data practices in multiple environments and contexts.

This panel aims to closely examine aspects related to research data shareability, availability and reusability, based on the assumption that each condition poses a cumulative effect on each other and impacts on the efficiency and efficacy of the data reuse process - the desired outcome of data sharing endeavors.


Even though data availability cannot be considered the sole predictor of effective reuse, because only accessible and well-managed data can make reuse possible, data reuse is contingent on the availability of data. In other words, ample and improved data availability acts as a key precondition for ultimate reuse. It is important to pinpoint, though, that not all data are shareable and, therefore, cannot be easily made available. The degree of shareability is established taking into account legal, ethical and technical aspects with regard to the nature of data. For example, sharing data involving vulnerable populations - such as minors, survivors of domestic violence or subordinates in the workplace - without proper de-identification or anon-ymization may face negative consequences if identities are disclosed (Kaiser, 2009).

Rarely studies on data reuse formally define the term data availability or unfold its attributes. Data availability can be understood as the state or property of data being handy

and ready for use. However, availability and accessibility cannot be used interchangeably. Different aspects of data have to be considered to make data available and ultimately accessible. Borrowing from the definition in the context of information technology and management (Techopedia, n.d.), we understand data availability as the process of ensuring that data are available to end-users in a timely fashion, to the degree that the data are readily and continuously usable by the necessary management procedures, infrastructure, technologies and policies.

Along these lines, data availability involves different aspects to consider, and the data cannot be reliably available by individuals in a long term (Vines et al., 2010). Different stakeholders, such as regulatory parties, funding agencies, journal editors and repository managers, have shown their concerns on the data's public availability (e.g., Alsheikh -Ali, Qureshi, Al-Mallah & Ioannidis, 2011; Guttmacher, Nabel & Collins, 2009; Godlee, 2009; Sommer, 2010). This shows that various factors and conditions influence data availability, not just researchers' attitude s on data sharing. Other influential factors include ethical and legal concerns, federal regulations, journal policies, management procedures and access restrictions of proprietary data.

While data availability is a prerequisite for potential reuse and a condition which can be controlled by data providers, data reusability, that is, the degree to which data are capable of being reused in a given context and to fit a given purpose (Faniel & Jacobsen, 2010; Curty, 2015), involves an evaluation process from the reuser perspective. Not only should data conform to some quality attributes in order to be considered reusable, but it also must fit a purpose of interest. Thus, reusability can be only appraised from the potential reuser perspective, who will juxtapose best judgment about the attributes of the available data to their reuse intention/purpose.


Topic 1: Data availability for community data reusers Ayoung Yoon is an assistant professor at the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University Indianapolis (IUPUI). She is also a RDA/US Data Share fellow for 2016-2017. Her research areas include data curation, data sharing/reuse and open data practices. She is particularly interested in constructing effective cyberinfrastruc-ture for data sharing and reuse through proper curation and preservation practices. Currently she is conducting several research projects focusing on communities' needs of data sharing, reuse and curation.

Her presentation in this panel will focus on the issue of data availability for community data reusers. The potential for data to help address current societal problems (e.g., education, health, economic development, environment) is significant not only at the federal and state levels but also in smaller communities, neighborhoods and individual

lives. While the proposition for this potential is that data are and will be shared with and reused by and for communities at different levels, many data are not systematically or routinely shared for reuse with communities, particularly data collected by university and research institutes. From her recent research project that investigated community members' data practices in a small city in the Midwest, she will discuss the challenges associated with community members' data reuse focusing on data availabilit y issues with their strategies to access and utilize data for their community development. Because community members' data needs and reuse practices are different from scientists, her findings will broaden the scope of discussion on data availability.

Topic 2: Before making data available: Handling data involving vulnerable populations

Wei Jeng is assistant professor at the Department of Library and Information Science, National Taiwan University. She completed her PhD studies at the School of Information Sciences (iSchool), University of Pittsburgh. Her dissertation study investigates social scientists' data -sharing practices, especially those dealing with qualitative data (Jeng, 2017).

Given the increasing need for academic communities to manage an enormous amount of data, her long-term research goal is to provide insights for improving research infrastructure for scholars in all disciplines, particularly the social sciences, humanities and related scholarly communities.

In this panel, Jeng will share her research findings and perspectives on two aspects:

The tension between data shareability and confidentiality concerns regarding qualitative data. Jeng will report her findings regarding a group of social scientists' qualitative data-sharing practices, especially for those who handle sensitive data or un-shareable data.

The best practices for managing research data involving vulnerable populations. Jeng will share her proposed strategies for handling research data with minors, using a research project she has worked as an example. The research project explores teens' data awareness and involves interview and observation data with young people between the ages of 6 and 17 (Bowler, Acker, Jeng & Chi, 2017).

Topic 3: Data reusability for earth and environmental science data reusers

Angela P. Murillo is a visiting assistant professor at the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Her dissertation research investigated facilitators and inhibitors of data sharing and data reuse in the context of earth and environmental sciences and newly developing infrastructures. Additionally, she has completed research in scientific data management, metadata for data science and science data curation. Her

research areas include scientific data management, scientific data cyberinfrastructure and reuse and sharing.

In this panel, Murillo will present findings from a qualitative study, which identified facilitators and inhibitors of data reuse among earth and environmental scientists. This study addresses these questions: how do scientists determine data reusability and what information inhibits or facilitates data reusability. Murillo will discuss what information scientists need about the data to determine reusability, as well as what inhibits and/or facilitates data reusability. Murillo will describe how scientists evaluate data to determine reusability. Finally, she will provide guidance on best practices for ensuring reusability of shared data.

Topic 4: Amplifying data availability through enhanced publications

Renata Curty is an assistant professor in the Information Science Department at the State University of Londrina (Universidade Estadual de Londrina), in Southern Brazil. Her research relates to scholarly communication, data cu-ration and research data reuse. Her current research project focuses on how technological affordances influence and shape data reuse intentions and behaviors among scientists.

In this panel Curty will present findings of an ongoing study on enhanced publications and their role on effective data reuse. She will start by introducing different approaches to make research data systematically available and accessible to a broader audience, taking into account different levels of ties research data may have with the original research and its outputs, as well as with related research. Then, she will discuss how each of these approaches is expected to facilitate, more or less, one or more data reuse purposes (i.e., aggregation, integration, meta-analysis, replication, repurposing and synthesis). Later, the presentation will focus on preliminary results of an analysis of enhanced scientific journals, in quest of answering the following questions: What technological af-fordances and policy strategies enhanced journals usually adopt in order to make data available? What are the common challenges and limitations such journals face in order to promote data availability?

Expected Contributions

The panel aims to bring different perspectives on research data shareability, availability and reusability, also taking into account multiple data sharing-reuse contexts, within and beyond the traditional scientific fields (i.e., universities and other research institutions). The topics covered by the panelists will include accessibility, ethics and policy, technology and discipline practices. The panel also expects attendees to speak about the experiences and challenges of handling the availability of their own data or the data they have reused. Our contributions will be two-fold.

In terms of research, we aim to contribute to conceptualizing terms that are still poorly defined in the literature (i.e., data shareability, availability and reusability), which will bring a richer and more diverse discussion to the current data sharing and reuse research. In terms of practice, we expect this panel to be valuable to librarians, policymakers, open data advocates and data repository stakeholders to reflect on community data reusers, scientific data reusers, vulnerable populations and infrastructure and policy requirements. This will serve as a foundation to build more sustainable data infrastructures and facilitate data openness.

Panel's Structure

The structure of the proposed panel is as follows: Introduction (5 minutes)

Introduce the panel theme, core definitions, purposes and objectives of the panel.

Presentations (30 minutes)

The panelists (Yoon, Jeng, Murillo, and Curty) will present their individual research projects and empirical findings.

Q&A session (10 minutes)

We will host an open Q&A session about panel presentations and discussion.

Interactive Session (40 minutes)

The interactive session will be moderated by Curty and follow the team-based learning approach, which consists of a three-step cycle: 1) preparation, 2) readiness assurance testing and 3) application-focused exercise.

Preparation. The first step will be covered by presenters, where panelists will briefly introduce or recap the aspects related to data shareability, availability and reusability.

Readiness assurance testing. This stage will be approached in two parts. First, a set of questions based on real-life and controversial situations will be handed to each participant. These questions will be based on key themes and core concepts covered in the presentations. Second, participants will be grouped to discuss the questions and their answers, with the goal to collectively agree upon the best answer.

Application-focused exercise. In the third and final stage, the moderator will go through each of the questions and discuss them. Then, participants will propose, in groups, possible strategies and alternatives for solving or handling situations regarding data shareability, availability and reusability. The ultimate goal of this interactive session is to promote individual metacognition, as well as stimulate discussion, and engage participants on experience sharing about controversial topics and real-life situations practitioners and researchers may encounter on a daily basis.

Wrap-Up (5 minutes)

Debriefing and wrapping up the topic with all attendees.


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