Scholarly practices associated with research data vary widely across disciplines, domains, and cultures. In contemporary science policy, research data tend to be viewed as scholarly products to be released, shared, reused, and mined. In research practice, however, data may be viewed as transient artifacts that are incomprehensible without context, domain knowledge, and associated software and technologies. These two perspectives represent but one of many dimensions over which research data vary. Data are not things. Rather, they are representations of observations, objects, or other entities used as evidence of phenomena for the purposes of research or scholarship. They are created in a context, often as part of collaborative research activities. The diversity of practices and perspectives on research data poses challenges for preserving context, for stewardship, for exploiting data in collaborations across research domains, and for reuse over the short and long term. This talk, based on the book Big Data, Little Data, No Data: Scholarship in the Networked World, will explore the intersection of data, scholarship, and disciplinary practice and the implications for the design of knowledge infrastructures.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/borgman/355/