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.