If you are a researcher, you have many calls on your time. Between collecting data, doing research into it, reading, teaching, meeting your supervisor (or supervisees), dashing off chapter drafts, and compiling bibliographies, why should you go to the effort of publishing data? What's in it for you?
Wouldn't it be great if the data you've collected so painstakingly could carry on helping make discoveries after your own project is finished? A quick review of your data might suggest a promising hypothesis for someone else's next project, but one thing's certain: they won't review your data if they can't see it. Of course, they can always e-mail you and ask for it - but they're much more likely to see your data if it's published, and wouldn't you prefer not to spend your time e-mailing large data files around?
More citations, more kudos
As with any research output, if you publish your data it is more likely to be cited by other researchers, and like it or not, citations make you a better prospect for jobs, grants, promotions, Nobel prizes, etc. If they cite your data they may well end up citing your published research, too.
Of course getting more citations will make you the envy of your less enlightened colleagues, but you will also find that people appreciate you having simply opened up your data. By publishing it for all to see you provide a hugely richer source of information than the statistical summaries that make it into your paper. Other researchers will find it useful, and they will respect you for it.
On February 15-16, the Open Research Data Handbook Sprint will happen at the Open Data Institute, 65 Clifton Street, London EC2A 4JE.
The Open Research Data Handbook aims to provide an introduction to the processes, tools and other areas that researchers need to consider to make their research data openly available.
Join us for a book sprint to develop the current draft, and explore ways to remix it for different disciplines and contexts.
Who it is for:
- Researchers interested in carrying out their work in more open ways
- Experts on sharing research and research data
- Writers and copy editors
- Web developers and designers to help present the handbook online
- Anyone else interested in taking part in an intense and collaborative weekend of action