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Research Data Management: Benefits

Benefits of data management and opening and sharing data

Why open and share data?

Access to data is at the heart of research integrity. The research data produced at Tampere University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences, scientific publications and theses, and the research methods used are in principle shared and open. Further, the essential metadata describing the research data should always be open.

There are several benefits in opening and sharing research data. The key issue in making your data available for others is based on the notion that research data are understood as a valuable research output.  Analysis and results can be evaluated and verified if data (and methods) have been opened. Opening, archiving and publishing your data properly will enable both your future self as well as future others to get the most out of your data. Sharing data therefore facilitates later reuse and ensures the preservation and accessibility of data in the future. By opening and sharing research data, you can also signal that you value transparency and have confidence in your own work.

 
Benefits of compiling a data management plan

There are several benefits to write a data management plan. Well-managed research data is a credit to the researcher in many ways but essentially it is part of the researcher skills. Good data management should be seen as a default skill in a research project. Data management plan also shows that you are well-planned, systematic and ethical with your data. It also saves time, reduces risks such as the loss or corruption of data and the inability to prove or validate research findings. A data management plan also prepares you to preserving, opening and sharing your data which enables that research data is of high-quality and can be used after the research project has ended. By compiling a data management plan you show that you understand that your data has value. Ultimately it helps you to do better research!

 

Merits to the researcher

Researchers can use various open science practices in order to gain more merit as a researcher. Research data opened for reuse as a merit in a cv. According to Tampere higher education community's Open Science and Research Policy, competence related to open science is taken into account as an academic merit in recruitment and career advancement.

  • More visibility

By opening and sharing your data in a data repository or a data journal, and publishing metadata for example in Etsin, you can increase the visibility of your data. Increased visibility and discoverability of your research and data can lead to new collaboration with those who find and use your data. This can lead lead to new project and employment opportunities.

  • More citations

Openly sharing your data you can can increase the reproducibility of published findings and make it easier for other researchers to use, extend, and cite your data. After the data has been opened, other people can use and cite the data. Increased citation increases the impact of research (Drachen et al. 2016; Piwowar, Vision 2013; Piwowar, Day & Fridsma 2007). Aarticles with code available online are more highly cited that those without (Vandewalle 2012).

For a dataset to “count” as a publication, it should follow a similar publication process as an article and should be:

  • Properly documented with metadata
  • Reviewed for quality
  • Searchable and discoverable in catalogues (or databases)
  • Citable in articles

See also: How should I cite data?

Read more:

Drachen, T.M. et al., (2016). Sharing data increases citations. LIBER Quarterly. 26(2), pp.67–82. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/lq.10149

Hodson, Simon, Jones, Sarah, Collins, Sandra, Genova, Françoise, Harrower, Natalie, Laaksonen, Leif, … Wittenburg, Peter. (2018). Turning FAIR data into reality: interim report from the European Commission Expert Group on FAIR data (Version Interim draft). http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1285272

Piwowar, H. A., Day, R. S., & Fridsma, D. B. (2007). Sharing Detailed Research Data Is Associated with Increased Citation Rate. PLoS ONE, 2(3), e308. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.000030

Piwowar, H.A., & Vision, T.J. (2013). Data reuse and the open data citation advantage. PeerJ, 1, e175; http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.175.

Vandewalle, P. (2012). Code sharing is associated with research impact in image processing. Computing in Science and Engineering, 14(4), 42–47. http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/MCSE.2012.63

Point of View: How open science helps researchers succeed. eLife 2016;5:e16800 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.16800

Responsible Science

Tampere Universities promote good scientific practice, ethically sound research and responsibility in disseminating research data and findings. Researchers are expected to familiarise themselves with with the principles of research ethics. Research data management is an integral part of responsible science. Ethical questions must always be considered when collecting, processing and publishing data. Adhere to the guidelines issued by the Finnish Advisory Board for Research Intgrity (TENK) for the responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct.

Familiarise yourself also with Responsible Research webpage. It is a guide to research integrity and science communication in the Finnish scientific community. It is part of a project that produces online material that focuses on carrying out responsible science, publishing and science communication, for researchers, publishers, funding bodies and decision-makers as well as higher education students and teachers.