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Data Sharing by Scientists: Practices and Perceptions
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Background Scientific research in the 21st century is more data intensive and collaborative than in the past. It is important to study the data practices of researchers – data accessibility, discovery, re-use, preservation and, particularly, data sharing. Data sharing is a valuable part of the scientific method allowing for verification of results and extending research from prior results. Methodology/Principal Findings A total of 1329 scientists participated in this survey exploring current data sharing practices and perceptions of the barriers and enablers of data sharing. Scientists do not make their data electronically available to others for various reasons, including insufficient time and lack of funding. Most respondents are satisfied with their current processes for the initial and short-term parts of the data or research lifecycle (collecting their research data; searching for, describing or cataloging, analyzing, and short-term storage of their data) but are not satisfied with long-term data preservation. Many organizations do not provide support to their researchers for data management both in the short- and long-term. If certain conditions are met (such as formal citation and sharing reprints) respondents agree they are willing to share their data. There are also significant differences and approaches in data management practices based on primary funding agency, subject discipline, age, work focus, and world region. Conclusions/Significance Barriers to effective data sharing and preservation are deeply rooted in the practices and culture of the research process as well as the researchers themselves. New mandates for data management plans from NSF and other federal agencies and world-wide attention to the need to share and preserve data could lead to changes. Large scale programs, such as the NSF-sponsored DataNET (including projects like DataONE) will both bring attention and resources to the issue and make it easier for scientists to apply sound data management principles.

Life Science
Social Science
Material Type:
Arsev Umur Aydinoglu
Carol Tenopir
Eleanor Read
Kimberly Douglass
Lei Wu
Maribeth Manoff
Mike Frame
Suzie Allard
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Pathology Case Study: A 47-year-old man with  frontal lobe tumor
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(This case study was added to OER Commons as one of a batch of over 700. It has relevant information which may include medical imagery, lab results, and history where relevant. A link to the final diagnosis can be found at the end of the case study for review. The first paragraph of the case study -- typically, but not always the clinical presentation -- is provided below.)

A 47 year-old man presented with left extremity weakness for 1 year, which had worsened significantly over the past 40 days. 23 years ago he suffered head trauma with loss of consciousness for 30 minutes and was diagnosed with a concussion. Two weeks later he had his first generalized seizure, and continued to have about one seizure per week. His seizures were not well-controlled on phenytoin. Fifteen years ago, the patient underwent brain CT scan, revealing right frontal encephalomalacia (Figure 3). Epilepsy surgery was performed and silver clips were deployed for hemostasis. Following the surgery and change of medications to carbamazepine he continued to suffer seizures about one or twice a month. At this current presentation for left extremity weakness, the neurological examination discovered decreased muscle strength of the left side. CT scan revealed a huge hypodense lesion in the right frontal lobe with remarkable mass effect (Figure 1), but without distinct contrast-enhancement (Figure 2). Hyperdense foci could be seen within the mass, which were ascertained to be the silver clips used in his surgery. MRI scan could not be performed due to these clips. A right frontal craniotomy was performed and a large tumor was removed and submitted for pathology.

Applied Science
Health, Medicine and Nursing
Life Science
Material Type:
Case Study
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Provider Set:
Department of Pathology
Changshu Ke
Feng Wan
Kelan Wu
Ping Zhang
Ting Lei
Yang Gua
Yuanli Zhu
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