Big data begets the biggest attention, but having the right data is usually better than having more data. Little data approaches may be better adapted to local conditions. Open data may be viewed simply as data released without fees, or data that satisfy an array of conditions for licensing, ownership, responsibility, standards, interoperability, and legal harmonization. Often no suitable data are available, whether because they were not collected, not curated, not interpretable, or not subject to release. The enthusiasm for big data is obscuring the complexity and diversity of data in scholarship and the challenges for stewardship. Data practices are local, varying from field to field, individual to individual, and country to country. Inside the black box of data is a plethora of research, technology, and policy issues. Rarely do data stand alone, separable from software, protocols, lab and field conditions, and other context. Concerns for data sharing and open access raise questions about what data to keep, what to share, when, how, and with whom. This talk, based on the book Big Data, Little Data, No Data: Scholarship in the Networked World, will explore the stakes and stakeholders in research data and the challenges facing scholars, students, librarians, funding agencies, policy makers, publishers, and the public.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/borgman/361/