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Washington University among Institutions Awarded National Science Foundation Grant to Study Data Sharing

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded six universities involved in the Data Curation Network and the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) $297,019 for their project “Completing the Life Cycle: Developing Evidence-Based Models of Research Data Sharing.”

Jennifer Moore, head of data services at Washington University Libraries, is one of the members of the research team. Moore explains that “This is an important project for WashU, as the Libraries continue to expand and improve our services for data curation and sharing. We are very attentive to ensuring that shared data is well-documented and accessible. While it is a time-consuming endeavor with hidden costs, it is essential that high-quality data sharing is the standard, or else the data is futile. Evidence-based cost models which support scalable, FAIR data sharing are long overdue.”

This project, funded by NSF’s Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) program, examines data sharing activities and infrastructures and looks to uncover the true costs of public access to research data. It will focus on five disciplines: environmental science, materials science, psychology, biomedical sciences, and physics.

In addition to Washington University, researchers from Cornell University, Duke University, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, and Virginia Tech are collaborating on this study.

As noted by the announcement from ARL, the research will seek to answer three questions:

  1. Where are funded researchers across these institutions making their data publicly accessible and what is the quality of the metadata?
  2. How are researchers making decisions about why and how to share research data?
  3. What is the cost to the institution to implement the federally mandated public access to research data policy?

For more details about the project and its aims, see more details from the Association of Research Libraries.