New Guide Released: Sharing Survey Data

The UK Data Service has released a new guide Depositing Shareable Survey Data

This 16-page handbook, developed by a specialist team at the UK Data Service with extensive input from UK government departments, academic survey owners and survey producers, will take you through the full data journey, from fieldwork planning to eventual user access. While the guide is specifically developed to support new depositors of large-scale surveys, the principles apply to a wide range of significant data deposits.

The Power of Data Sharing | ANDS Newsletter

The latest newsletter (July 2014, issue 19) published by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) covers a variety of topics including data storage, data sharing, particularly sharing sensitive data, etc. What follows a series of short articles is a list of forthcoming events (webinars) that you may also find useful. The speaker of the next webinar on July 3, 2014 is Dr Virginia Barbour who will present on “PLOS: open data, ORCIDs and Article Level Metrics”

You can find more details in the ANDS newsletter:


PLOS Data Policy Update

It has been a few months since the PLOS journals’ data policy was implemented. For the re-use and re-purpose of data by readers and by data miners, authors of new manuscripts were required to submit a statement about where the data underlying their description of research can be found. As of today,16,000 sets of authors have included information about data availability with their article submission. Should this number be considered as good news for open science, and more specifically, is this a step towards improved integration between the published literature and the data underlying it? You can learn more about the recent update from the PLOS’ data policy and current state of data sharing by authors from here.

The Value & Impact of Data Sharing & Curation

Jisc has published the synthesis report of the value & impact studies of Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), the Archaeology Data Service (ADS), and the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC). This report summarizes and reflects on the findings from a series of recent studies, conducted by Neil Beagrie of Charles Beagrie Ltd. and Prof. John Houghton of Victoria University, into the value and impact of these three well established research data centers . It provides a summary of the key findings from new research and reflects on: the methods that can be used to collect data for such studies; the analytical methods that can be used to explore value, impacts, costs and benefits; and the lessons learnt and recommendations arising from the series of studies as a whole.

Reports on Data Sharing and Human Subjects

There are two recent reports dealing with various aspects of human subjects, personally identifiable data and research data management and reuse. The first comes from the US National Research Council and is titled “Proposed Revisions to the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects in the Behavioral and Social Sciences” and can be downloaded from here

The second is a report from the EU DASISH (Data Services Infrastructure for the Social Sciences and Humanities) program, Data Services Infrastructure for the Social Sciences and HumanitiesThis provides a very helpful look at some issues surrounding the sharing and reuse of human subjects data from an EU perspective.

Report: Data Access Policies Landscape

Data Access Policies Landscape, report written by Dr. Stephanie Wykstra

For anyone working with data and data policies, this is an excellent report prepared by Dr. Stephanie Wykstra.

New technology makes sharing research outputs– not just publications but also raw data, code, software, even lab notebooks – easier than ever before. The benefits from more open science are widely acknowledged. Yet there is still room for improvement: recent studies show that at least in some fields, sharing isn’t yet widespread. There are also a number of questions that remain: what should be shared, how and who should cover the costs? Even where it’s clear that research transparency should become the norm, answering these questions across diverse domains is challenging and will require much work and cooperation.

This landscape has several aims. First, to help inform funders. Funders play an important role in the shift to data-sharing and research transparency more broadly, and we hope that informing them about the policy landscape and available options may be useful. Here we present a range of funder policies, including their basic components, variation among them, and some considerations in favor of the different options. Second, we pull together resources for funders (and researchers that they fund and advise) as they face questions about data access. Third, we briefly survey some initiatives in the “research transparency” field more broadly, with the aim of facilitating collaboration.

To continue reading this report, you can download a full report from Figshare

Gene Patents Impeding Data Sharing? | Science

Lock Up the Genome, Lock Down Research? by Eliot Marshall, Science

Researchers say that gene patents impede data sharing and innovation; patent lawyers say there’s no evidence for this.

(C)ritics say the system can work against innovators. Instead of promoting the sharing of ideas, it is often used to dam up knowledge. A handful of recent studies, for instance, have concluded that gene-related intellectual property has created a legal thicket that stymies biomedical science and locks away data that could improve clinical tests. Similar, but more muted, complaints have emerged in other fields, from computer science to engineering. That’s far from the innovation and sharing that the patent system is supposed to encourage, critics add.

On the other side, champions of the patent system, including many lawyers and a former patent court chief judge who spoke with Science, say such attacks are unsupported by the evidence. Claims by gene patent critics, they argue, are based on emotion. “The idea that scientific researchers are being sued or threatened with lawsuits [for doing research] is a fiction,” says Paul Michel, former chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the top patent review body below the Supreme Court. “I don’t know where this myth comes from.”

Some researchers, meanwhile, are working to sidestep patent battles by making sure that gene sequences and other kinds of data are quickly entered into public databases, where they are free to all.

Continue reading….

Science 4 October 2013:
Vol. 342 no. 6154 pp. 72-73
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6154.72