A Reputation Economy: How Individual Reward Considerations Trump Systemic Arguments for Open Access to Data

10 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2017

See all articles by Benedikt Fecher

Benedikt Fecher

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Sascha Friesike

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society

Marcel Hebing

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin)

Stephanie Linek

German National Library of Economics

Date Written: June 2017

Abstract

Open access to research data has been described as a driver of innovation and a potential cure for the reproducibility crisis in many academic fields. Against this backdrop, policy makers are increasingly advocating for making research data and supporting material openly available online. Despite its potential to further scientific progress, widespread data sharing in small science is still an ideal practised in moderation. In this article, we explore the question of what drives open access to research data using a survey among 1564 mainly German researchers across all disciplines. We show that, regardless of their disciplinary background, researchers recognize the benefits of open access to research data for both their own research and scientific progress as a whole. Nonetheless, most researchers share their data only selectively. We show that individual reward considerations conflict with widespread data sharing. Based on our results, we present policy implications that are in line with both individual reward considerations and scientific progress.

Suggested Citation

Fecher, Benedikt and Friesike, Sascha and Hebing, Marcel and Linek, Stephanie, A Reputation Economy: How Individual Reward Considerations Trump Systemic Arguments for Open Access to Data (June 2017). Palgrave Communications, Vol. 3, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2991547 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/palcomms.2017.51

Benedikt Fecher (Contact Author)

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Sascha Friesike

Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society ( email )

Bebelplatz 1 | 10099
Berlin
Germany

Marcel Hebing

German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) ( email )

Mohrenstraße 58
Berlin, 10117
Germany

Stephanie Linek

German National Library of Economics ( email )

Düsternbrooker Weg 120
Kiel, 24105
Germany

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