Attitudes and norms affecting scientists’ data reuse

Publication Type:

Journal Article


PLoS ONE, Volume 12, Issue 12 (2017)


The value of sharing data comes partly from the data’s being reused by other scientists, but questions regarding attitudes and norms that predict scientists’ data reuse remain open. We test the relationship between scientists’ beliefs and attitudes towards data reuse and their self-reported data reuse behaviour using responses to selected questions from a worldwide survey developed and administered by the DataONE Usability and Assessment Working Group. The data suggest first that data sharing and data reuse are largely separate phenomena. Second, the perceived efficacy of data reuse for answering research questions was found to be one of the strongest predictors of reuse behaviour. On the other hand, expressed lack of trust in reused data and perceived norms against data reuse did not seem to deter respondents from reuse. Finally, reported use of models and remote-sensed data was associated with more reuse. The results suggest that data reuse would be encouraged by demonstrations of the value and addressing norms about this practice.

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