The puzzle of sharing scientific data

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Government funding entities have placed data sharing at the centre of scientific policy. While there is widespread consensus that scientific data sharing benefits scientific progress, there are significant barriers to its wider adoption. We seek a deeper understanding of how researchers from different fields share their data and the barriers and facilitators of such sharing. We draw upon the notions of epistemic cultures and collective action theory to consider the enablers and deterrents that scientists encounter when contributing to the collective good of data sharing. Our study employs a mixed-methods design by combining survey data collected in 2016 and 2018 with qualitative data from two case studies sampled within two scientific communities: high-energy physics and molecular biology. We describe how scientific communities with different epistemic cultures can employ modularity, time delay, and boundary organisations to overcome barriers to data sharing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-250
Number of pages32
JournalIndustry and Innovation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Open science
  • collective action theory
  • data commons
  • epistemic cultures


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