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A Comparative Study of International Approaches to Enabling the Sharing of Research Data

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Abstract

The current methods of storing research data are as diverse as the disciplines that generate them and are necessarily driven by the myriad ways in which researchers need to subsequently access and exploit the information they contain. Institutional repositories, data centres and all other methods of storing data have to exist within an infrastructure that enables researchers to access and exploit the data, and variant models for this infrastructure can be conceptualised. Discussion of effective infrastructures for curating data is taking place at all levels, wherever research is reliant on the long?term stewardship of digital material. JISC has commissioned this study to survey the different national agendas that are addressing variant infrastructure models, in order to inform developments within the UK and for facilitating an internationally integrated approach to data curation.
The study of data sharing initiatives in the OECD countries confirmed the traditional perception that the policy instruments are clustered more in the upper end of the stakeholder taxonomy - i.e. at the level of national and research funding organisations - whereas the services and practical tools are being developed by organisations at the lower end of the taxonomy. Despite the differences that exist between countries in terms of the models used for research funding, as well as the levels at which decisions are taken, there is agreement on the expected strata of responsibility for applying the instruments of data sharing. This supports the structure of stakeholder taxonomy used in the study.

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