What’s the use in reuse?
Benefits for the sharer
Researchers most commonly share their data for reproducibility, allowing others to verify or build on results. Scholars might even openly share data they are not using themselves.
When another researcher uses the data, this contributes to reducing research waste in the field. In addition, other researchers might take the available datasets in innovative and creative directions or use them in ways that the data creator could not do due to a lack of equipment or relevant expertise.
Furthermore, researchers often liaise with the original creators when reusing existing data, asking for additional information on data collection or the conducted study. This can lead to new collaborations, partnerships, or creative initiatives that may only have occurred if the data had been shared openly.
Lastly, when their data is licensed and reused, the creators can receive credit and attribution for producing the original datasets through data citations.
Benefits for the user
Researchers or other stakeholders may use existing datasets within their studies or conduct additional analyses on existing research questions. Such pre-made datasets enable scholars to start working on their research immediately.
Furthermore, in some cases, researchers can access the methodology associated with a research project. For example, specific F1000 article types such as Data Notes allow the full reporting of methods alongside the associated research data.
This way, a researcher knows the results and how they were produced beforehand. Using others’ data helps scholars start their analysis and generate results quickly.
Plus, the reuser does not need to curate or upload data to a repository. When they reach the point of publication, all they need to do is cite the data’s original source using the dataset’s persistent identifier.