Rewarding data sharing through data citation: from policy to practice

Abstract and slides from talk presented at Japan Open Science Summit in Tokyo on 18 June 2018: Researchers need incentives to share research data openly. Researchers also need to be credited for data sharing. Enabling and measuring data citation, and making data citations count in research impact assessment, can provide incentives to share data. While many researchers share data in some way, only about a quarter of researchers share data in a repository that enables data to be formally cited. Data citation is supported by many journals and publishers’ policies, but is practiced, consistently, by a far smaller proportion of researchers. For data citation – where references to datasets are equivalent to references to research papers – to increase substantially, change needs to be enabled in three ways. Firstly, through consistent journal polices; secondly, with consistent editorial and peer review practices; and thirdly, with publishing technology to capture and share data citations in a meaningful and machine readable way. Data citation in practice will be demonstrated, using the peer-reviewed data journal Scientific Data as an exemplar, as well examples from more traditional journals. An initiative in the publishing industry that intends to increase the practice of data citation will also be discussed, along with a Research Data Alliance (RDA) project to standardise the data sharing and citation policies of all journals and publishers.

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