In continuation to our work, uncovering insights about the challenges and opportunities researchers encounter when it comes to data sharing, we have released a new whitepaper based on a survey we conducted with 1,000 researchers in Japan. Our previous whitepapers we have looked at the global attitudes towards open data with the latest State of Open Data report (co-published with Digital Science), the practical challenges researchers face in data sharing at a global scale as well as in a more granular scale in countries such as China.
On this occasion we have decided to look in more detail at one of the countries that is continuing to embrace open data, Japan. The country’s enthusiasm about sharing data is demonstrated by the fact that 95% of the researchers asked, do share their research data, with 62% choosing both the public and the private route. This is comparable to the 70% global average of researchers that choose to share data in both ways.
Similarly, to previous research we notice that sharing data varies amongst different subject fields. For example researchers in the physical sciences are more likely to share their data (40%) than those in the biological sciences field (30%).
The main drivers to data sharing for Japanese researchers are primarily to advance research by also contributing their data to help others in similar fields (50%), and for the sake of transparency and data re-use (42%). However, those that choose not to share their data were concerned about data misuse (49%) as well as copyright and licencing (42%).
When it comes to data management plans creation (DMP), Japan is below the global average of 70% with 56%, a big contrast from China that embraces the practice with 93% of the local researchers saying that they do create DMPs.
Lack of familiarity or absence of requirement by the institutions side and/or the funders can be the main reasons why Japan falls behind the DMP global average.
More effort, education and collaboration across the stakeholder spectrum including institutions, publishers, researchers and funding agencies will have a positive impact on good data practice and making open data including DMPs the norm for the whole research community.
 A DMP is a document that outlines how research data will be collected, stored and shared. Data management standards known as FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable) principles have been set by the research community.