Radovan Vrana

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb

The role of reuse of research data in research studies

Radovan Vrana

14 September 2023
Session 4 ‣ Open science in action
15:30 – 17:15

Open Science presents the idea that scientific knowledge should be openly shared, as central values of science are transparency, verifiability, replicability, and openness (Abele-Brehm, Gollwitzer, Steinberg, Schönbrodt, 2019). Its aim is to make openly available “bodies of knowledge that would advance human understanding and benefit humankind” (Willinsky, 2006, 36). Scientific body of knowledge consists of many different information entities, including widely popular research data. As it is the case with other information entities in open science, research data should also achieve several purposes: to be available openly to make the existing research more credible; to enhance science and as a global public good via data patrimonialization, pooling, and synergies; to help in verification and trust-building; broader engagement; to add value to data production; to facilitate and accelerate efforts to address the big challenges of our time and other mission-oriented science (Berkowitz, Delacour, 2022). The demand for openly shared research data has increased over the last decade, on the national and international levels, putting pressure on researchers by funding institutions and journal publishers (Thoegersen, Borlund, 2022). These purposes become evident in numerous scientific publications and on different scientific events as the interest of the research process continued to grow (Andrew, Winnie Wan, 2018).

The purposes also raised a question whether all research data that are already stored in, for instance, digital repositories, suitable for further analysis and can be interpreted correctly and reused in new research. The purpose of this research is to discover whether researchers in different fields of science in Croatia consider research data as a prerequisite and / or a starting point for their next research and whether these data are reused just for comparison with their results or as a form of a control of quality of research of other scientists. The research study is not preregistered as Croatia do not have a national open science online spot for preregistration, and there are no ethical issues with the research questions. The principal research method in this research study is an online questionnaire written in the Croatian language, consisting of 28 questions created for this research study (they will be available after the conclusion of the study, as usual), divided into four parts: aspects of use of research data (sources of research data, importance of research data for planning, executing and quality of research), access to research data for other researchers (quantity of data to share, interaction between researchers, rewards for sharing research data, obstacles when sharing research data, benefits of sharing research data), archiving of research data (where, what) and data about the respondents. The possible participants are invited by e-mail sent to  the Croatian scientists mailing list (one central e-mail address) including scientists from all fields of sciences. Therefore, the sample is a convenient one. The results will be analysed by use of descriptive statistics. It is expected that the participating scientists in Croatia will provide answers that will help clarify their position on the role of use and sharing of research data in their research activities.