Open Data in Research Trending Up

“Open Data” is defined by SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) as “research data that

  1. is freely available on the Internet;
  2. permits any user to download, copy, analyze, re-process, pass to software, or use for any other purpose; and
  3. is without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.”

The phrase “open data” first appeared in a PubMed article title in 2000, but it took another 13 years for an increase in publications. As we approach 2018, how do researchers now view open data? And most importantly, how does HSLS support health sciences researchers at Pitt?

Figshare, an online digital repository for all research outputs, initiated “The State of Open Data Report“ in 2016, making the 2017 update the first repeat of an annual survey of open data practices and needs in a research setting.

The Figshare global survey of 2,300 respondents found that:

  • Awareness of open data increased 9% to 82% overall, and willingness to reuse open datasets increased 10% to 80%, evenly distributed across all age groups.

    Consult with an HSLS Data Services Librarian on how to cite open datasets or learn how/where to make your own data open and available.

  • Seventy-four percent of researchers are now curating their data for sharing, a 7% increase.

    Make your data findable and reusable with tips from the HSLS class, You Do WHAT with Your Data?

  • Thirty-six percent of respondents reported data lost on computer hard drives.

    Learn how to avoid data loss and incorporate preservation into your workflow with the HSLS class, Future Proof your Data: Planning for Reuse.

This is just a sample of HSLS data management classes which are scheduled on a rotating basis throughout the school year. Watch for signup announcements or request a custom workshop.

For more information on data management, refer to the HSLS Data Management Guide, where you will also find contact information for the HSLS Data Services Group members.

~Andrea Ketchum