Incentive to share your data: how to get cited

A workshop recap by the Open Economics Working Group has a great section on how to create incentive structures for scholars to share their work. The main goal is to make your data citable – and here’s how to make it work.

The main incentive to publish research data, apart from funding requirements, is citations. To get a lasting, “official” citation, the speakers at the the Second Open Economics International Workshop recommended to store data at a respected, public repository – with a data paper attached.

The oldest repository

Screen Shot 2013-07-07 at 11.32.27 AMThe Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) is one of the oldest data repositories in the U.S. and currently develops open access data as a new product: researchers publish their original data, tied with data citation and DOI, and download statistics (see more in workshop slides by Amy Pienta from the ICPSR).

The Harvard repository

Screen Shot 2013-07-07 at 11.35.28 AMThe DataVerse Network is self-serviced by authors [I publish my teaching materials there], that was originally only for social scientists and now opens up to all disciplines (see slides by Mercè Crosas from the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University).

The California take on it

Screen Shot 2013-07-07 at 11.36.00 AMAn alternative is DataCite, which provides DOIs for data and usage statistics and reports. They have now started a new initiative to create researchers’ profiles with their listed data output (see slides by Joan Starr from DataCite, California Digital Library).


Add a data paper

Screen Shot 2013-07-07 at 11.52.26 AMFinally, a way to push for even more citations, or “better” ones than just a data set, is a data paper. According to Brian Hole (Ubiquity Press) a “data paper” means that data are stored in a public repository together with a short data paper – and this paper also can be cited. A data paper should describe the methodology with which a dataset was compiled, the data itself and how the data could be used (see more in his slides).


About the Workshop

The Open Economics Working Group of the Open Knowledge Foundation organised the Second Open Economics International Workshop at the MIT Sloan School of Management in June 2013. Economists and senior academics, funders, data publishers and data curators discussed reproducibility in economics (Recap | Agenda). The official workshop summary, written by Velichka Dimitrova, is a great source for anyone interested in reproducibility, not just in economics.


You might also want to read…

Guest Post: Why reproducibility requires data archiving, by Thomas Leeper

How to use a repository to share your teaching materials (and make them citable)

How to motivate scholars to share their work

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4 thoughts on “Incentive to share your data: how to get cited

  1. Ellie K says:

    This is a lot of openness:

    “The Open Economics Working Group of the Open Knowledge Foundation organised the Second Open Economics International Workshop…”

    More seriously, this is a good list. I am familiar with DataCite and Harvard’s DataVerse network of research-related services. The oldest repository listed, ICPSR, was unfamiliar to me. Is it associated with the University of Michigan? I recall, several years ago, they had something like that, before I had ever heard of open data. If so, I’m happy that they’ve survived the land grant university budget cuts.


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