The tragedy of the biodiversity data commons: a data impediment creeping nigher?

Autores: Escribano Compains, Nora (Autor de correspondencia); Galicia Paredes, David; Ariño Plana, Arturo
Título de la revista: DATABASE
ISSN: 1758-0463
Volumen: 2018
Número: bay033
Páginas: 1 - 6
Fecha de publicación: 2018
Researchers are embracing the open access movement to facilitate unrestricted availability of scientific results. One sign of this willingness is the steady increase in data freely shared online, which has prompted a corresponding increase in the number of papers using such data. Publishing datasets is a time-consuming process that is often seen as a courtesy, rather than a necessary step in the research process. Making data accessible allows further research, provides basic information for decision-making and contributes to transparency in science. Nevertheless, the ease of access to heaps of data carries a perception of `free lunch for all¿, and the work of data publishers is largely going unnoticed. Acknowledging such a significant effort involving the creation, management and publication of a dataset remains a flimsy, not well established practice in the scientific community. In a meta-analysis of published literature, we have observed various dataset citation practices, but mostly (92%) consisting of merely citing the data repository rather than the data publisher. Failing to recognize the work of data publishers might lead to a decrease in the number of quality datasets shared online, compromising potential research that is dependent on the availability of such data. We make an urgent appeal to raise awareness about this issue.