Publicly funded research data and researchers

HCMR Questionaire Questions List

The ethics and practice of openness in life science data. Data is essential in generating knowledge and is central to research. Open access, sharing and archiving of research data may enable new research and innovation and the dissemination of knowledge. The debate about open access to research data is by no means new; it is an increasingly raised argument. Full and open access is promoted as the international norm for the exchange of scientific data by numerous scientific and political bodies (e.g. UNESCO, OECD, European Commission, International Council for Science, G8 Science Ministers, US Office of Management & Budget). It has intensified in recent years due to a growing amount of data and the growing possibilities offered by information technology, along with growing recognition of the value of data. Assuming that publicly funded data collection is an investment in research, the real value of data lies in their use. The arguments in favor of open data touch various issues, for example: enhancing the quality of outputs, uncovering scientific corruption and adding to government accountability (politicians/managers may alter their behavior). In contrast, arguments opposed to openness include: concerns on the sensitive nature of information linked to confidentiality, integrity and, availability. Moreover, a number of scientific groups argue that data usage entails certain scientific skills and ethics that are not widely exercised. The objective of this questionnaire is to gain a better understanding of what researchers think on sharing and archiving, as well as barriers to the sharing and archiving of research data. The results of this survey will be published in a special issue on ‘The ethics and practice of openness in life science data’ of the international journal of Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics (Editors: Konstantinos Stergiou, Dimitrios Damalas).

Note: Three out of the 15 questions below are rephrased versions of original questions from a survey conducted among Norwegian researchers for the Research Council of Norway in 2014, available at: