As an important component of the scholarly record, research data, software and code are increasingly managed as research outputs in their own right, though are not typically subject to peer review.
In line with the broader ‘open research’ movement there is a growing impetus for datasets, software and code to be curated in repositories, openly available wherever possible subject to relevant legal and ethical constraints.
Data repositories such as Figshare, Dryad and Zenodo routinely allocate DOIs for deposited data while many universities in the UK also allocate and mint DOIs in their nascent institutionally based data repositories through Datacite which means they will be automatically tracked by altmetric.com in the same way as journal articles.
While the repository infrastructure continues to develop and there are pockets of best practice, data sharing and reuse is not yet fully established across UK HE. Reward mechanisms are immature and data citation, for example, is limited and not easy to track. Clarivate Analytics’ Data Citation Index coverage of UK based repositories is still relatively low and, as a subscription based product, is not widely accessible. COUNTER compliant downloads can be derived from IRUSdata-UK (beta) which currently tracks 27 UK based institutional data repositories.
Altmetrics therefore offers a low barrier method to track engagement with datasets and, in lieu of a more formal process, might be regarded as a type of informal peer review. We have undertaken a preliminary analysis of repositories that participate in IRUSdata-UK (beta) using it as a source of DOIs to run against the altmetric.com API to discover to what extent research data, software and code is being shared.
This talk will present these preliminary results and explore how and why datasets are being shared across the various platforms tracked by altmetric.com and potential barriers. It will consider how data repository managers can encourage and facilitate data sharing through social media networks, blogs and “data journalism” and will draw on the Research Data Management (RDM) Engagement Award at the University of Leeds which is exploring linking RDM with the Open Science movement via the Wikimedia suite of tools. What does the altmetric data currently tell us about how research data is being linked to this global platform?
The highest altmetric score identified to date across UK data repositories is 102 from the University of Sheffield, including a Wikipedia citation:
Rae, Alasdair; Nelson, Garrett G.D. (2017): United States Commutes and Megaregions data for GIS. figshare. Fileset. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15131/shef.data.4110156.v5