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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Who is Responsible for Data? An Exploratory Study of Data Authorship, Ownership, and Responsibility


Data repositories rely on the deposit of materials from the communities they serve, forming a chain of stakeholders from the data creator to the repository and data user. Top-down policies that describe the responsibilities of the depositing scientists and other stakeholders are drafted accordingly. But we see very little deposit of scientific data beyond the Big Sciences or communities for whom deposit is required by publications. As part of an ongoing data practices study, we asked scientific researchers about who would be responsible for the data collected. It is clear that researchers are not talking about who is responsible for the data. The results presented here are meant to demonstrate the need for further research into what it means to be responsible for research data and how this responsibility is delegated to members of a research team.

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