Institutional and Individual Influences on Scientists' Data Sharing Practices

Many contemporary scientific endeavors now rely on the collaborative efforts of researchers across multiple institutions. As a result of this increase in the scale of scientific collaboration, sharing and reuse of data using private and public repositories has increased. At the same time, data sharing practices and capabilities appear to vary widely across disciplines and even within some disciplines. This research sought to develop an understanding of this variation through the lens of theories that account for individual choices within institutional contexts. We conducted a total of 25 individual semi-structured interviews to understand researchers' current data sharing practices. The main focus of our interviews was: (1) to explore domain specific data sharing practices in diverse disciplines, and (2) to investigate the factors motivating and preventing the researchers' current data sharing practices. Results showed support for an institutional perspective on data sharing as well as a need for better understanding of scientists' altruistic motives for participating in data sharing and reuse.