Data sharing in ecology, Storify from the ESA 2012 meeting

A Data Sharing workshop was held at the 2012 Ecological Societ of America Meeting in Portland, Oregon. The workshop was run by folks from NEON (Wendy Gram), DataONE (Carly Strasser), and NCEAS (Stephanie Hampton). See the abstract here.

The workshop started off with statements from Joshua Tewksbury, Carly Strasser, and Cliff Duke. Joshua talked about how great it would be to share data but that there really is no incentive to do it. Cliff gave six rules for data sharing – see the tweets from Annie Simpson in the Storify (link below). The statements were followed by a lively discussion about data sharing.

In our discussion, one interesting topic was how to get researchers on board with data sharing. One suggestion was to get universities to help researchers get their data up on servers somewhere with appropriate metadata. However, although universities may be the entities closest to researchers, I don’t think universities are the ones to make data sharing happen.  Others have created  solutions for data/code sharing – Figshare, Dryad, GitHub, GBIF – universities (specifically, librarians) could simply facilitate getting researchers to get their data up on these sites.

Perhaps the incentives are the most important part of data sharing. Without incentives, most people will not share their data. Journals and funders are the two main groups that can create the incentive structure for data sharing. There was talk of sticks being better than carrots – carrots are nice, but we really need sticks to make people share their data.

I created a Storify of some of the tweets from the workshop. Take a look here.

4 thoughts on “Data sharing in ecology, Storify from the ESA 2012 meeting

  1. Sounds like this was a valuable workshop. The move for greater data sharing and data archiving is progressing rapidly. At Journal of Ecology we encourage this. In our Author Guidelines, we state “In order to promote the advancement of science through the process of documenting and making available the research information and supporting data behind published studies, the editors of this journal strongly encourage authors to make arrangements for archiving their underlying data.” The plan is for data archiving to become mandatory in the future.

  2. Nice. Its definitely the way things are going, but I imagine some folks will still be a bit hesitant to share their data. It was definitely a very interesting discussion in the workshop!

  3. Thanks for the blog post! I’m hopeful that future workshops on data sharing will be packed. It impacts all ecologists, whether they realize it or not: they are using other people’s data (via websites, databases, or from colleagues) or sharing their own data often enough that this should be in the forefront of their minds.

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