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14.09.2021 by LBG OIS Center

Leveraging open research data re-use

1. Context, Motivation and Rationale

In research and innovation policy, Open Research Data (ORD) refers to the right to access and re-use research data. On the European level, the European Commission ran a flexible ‘ORD pilot‘ in its framework programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020, from 2014 to 2016. This action was then extended to cover all thematic areas of Horizon 2020 as of the Work Programme 2017 („open data as the default“) with the possibility to opt-out in certain circumstances.

While we can therefore expect more research datasets to become open in the future, the value of this research data lies not only – or even primarily – in its openness but in its actual reuse by other scientists, the business community and society (e.g. NGOs, journalists, healthcare workers etc).

However, the assumption that open research data will automatically be re-used is too simplistic. Rather, the research ecosystem is a complex one, with many factors that can either facilitate or hamper the uptake and re-use of existing research data.

2. Objectives and Research Question

The aim of this project is therefore to develop a framework model for understanding

a) the factors that either hamper or encourage research data re-use and

b) the mechanisms for leveraging the actual re-use of research data.

3. Methodology

The project will take the form of a qualitative study in three phases:

Phase 1: systematic literature review to analyse existing approaches to research data re-use

Literature review of scientific literature (including articles, conference papers, pre-prints and monographs) as well as non-scientific policy reports. This will result in a first draft deductive framework model.

Phase 2: data collection, sampling and analysis

Using a theoretical sampling process we will conduct qualitative interviews with data sharers, users and facilitators/experts. To triangulate data we will analyse additional relevant best and, if possible, also worst cases of research data sharing and using.

·       Phase 2a will consist of the identification of the interviewees and the cases.

·       Phase 2b will consist in conducting the interviews and the transcription as well as processing the case material. For the purpose of conducting the interviews a semi-structured interview guide will be developed, based on the theoretical framework

·        Phase 2c will consist of an analysis of the interview data, using inductive/deductive coding.

The results of this three step process will be used to extend, adapt and/or revise the draft framework model developed in phase 1.

Phase 3: policy report / scientific publication

In phase 3 we will produce a policy paper and/or a scientific publication, summarising the main findings and containing recommendations.

These phases will be flanked by project management and dissemination activities.

5. Project Team

Daniel Spichtinger (DS), former Senior Policy Officer for Open Access and Open Data at the European Commission, is the project leader. Additionally to himself the project team consists of Marion Poetz, Lucia Malfent, Patrick Lehner and Marcel La Flamme from the LBG OIS Center.

The final policy paper will be open access, as will be the data underlying it.

6. Contact

Mag. Daniel Spichtinger, M.A.

Open Innovation in Science Center, Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft

Nußdorfer Straße 64, 2nd floor

Daniel.Spichtinger (at) lbg.ac.at