The Research Data Alliance is convening researchers, policy makers, funders, repository managers, librarians, archivists, publishers, open data activists, and other stakeholders to address the stewardship of the world’s research data assets. Overarching issues are becoming clear: the need for coordination among stakeholders, economic challenges to the sustainability of archives, and misaligned public policies for open access to publications and data. The practice and policy issues on the ground are much less well understood, however. Norms for the acquisition, release, and reuse of data –and the very definition of data – vary widely between research domains, and motivations to share data vary accordingly. Practices for the ownership and control of data influence what can be released, when, to whom, and under what conditions. These practices, in turn, vary by domain, jurisdiction, rules of universities and funding agencies, and by local context. Data are assets in some respects and liabilities in others. Releasing data offers benefits, but so does controlling data. The workforces required for the stewardship of data are many and varied; they too must be nurtured and sustained. Wise investments must be made in knowledge infrastructures – and soon – if research data are to remain useful for generations to come. This talk is based on the forthcoming book, Big Data, Little Data, No Data: Scholarship in the Networked World (MIT Press).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/borgman/322/