Christine Borgman: Article on Data Sharing Among Top Ten Percent Most Cited in PLOS One Journal

Research on data sharing and reuse recognized for worldwide reception throughout the first ten years of PLOS ONE, published by the Public Library of Science.

An article authored by UCLA IS Professor Christine Borgman and her team at the Center for Knowledge Infrastructures has been recognized among the top ten percent most-viewed articles on the online Public Library of Science (PLOS) during its first 10 years of publication. The article, “If we share data, will anyone use them? Data sharing and reuse in the long tail of science and technology (Wallis, J. C., Rolando, E., & Borgman, C. L. ,2013, PLoS ONE, 8(7), e67332) has been viewed 24,075 times and cited 72 times as of August 7.

UCLA IS alumnae Jillian Wallis, Elizabeth Rolando, and Professor Borgman presented a ten-year study of the Center for Embedded Network Sensing (CENS), a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center. They found that while CENS researchers are willing to share their data, they are rarely asked to do so, except through interpersonal exchanges from repositories, registries, and individuals, to provide context, calibration, or other forms of background for their studies. The study included how practices of releasing, sharing, and reusing of data in CENS reaffirm the gift culture of scholarship, in which goods are bartered between trusted colleagues rather than treated as commodities.

Borgman, who is a Distinguished Professor and Presidential Chair of UCLA Information Studies, says that the PLOS ranking affirms the widespread impact of the article and the growing interest in practices associated with the sharing of data in the scientific community. Jillian Wallis, (’12, Ph.D., Information Studies), is now a data scientist at the University of Southern California. Elizabeth Rolando, (’12, MLIS) graduate, is now a research lead at MailChimp in Atlanta.

According to Borgman, PLOS ONE is the world’s first multidisciplinary Open Access journal and accepts scientifically rigorous research whose publication criteria are based on high ethical standards and the rigor of the methodology and conclusions reported.

“The journal is an ideal venue to publish multi-disciplinary research because it is read by such a broad array of international stakeholders. We are delighted to receive this level of recognition by a premier journal,” she says.

Professor Borgman, who founded and directs the UCLA Center for Knowledge Infrastructures is the principal investigator for a project titled, “If Data Sharing is the Answer, What is the Question.” The three-year project which is now in its second year, is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and studies data practices, policy, and infrastructure of four distributed scientific collaborations, exploring methods of data collection and management, innovations in scaling and workflows, and multidisciplinary approaches to complex problems.