Willing or unwilling to share primary biodiversity data: results and implications of an international survey
biodiversity, conservation, data archiving, data sharing, database, journal policy, primary biodiversity data
Biodiversity science and conservation increasingly depend on the sharing and integration of large amounts of data, but many researchers resist sharing their primary biodiversity data. We recently conducted an international survey to ascertain the attitudes, experiences, and expectations regarding biodiversity data sharing and archiving of researchers. The results show that whereas most respondents are willing to share paper-related biodiversity data, more than sixty percent of respondents are unwilling to share primary data before publishing. Results indicate an underdeveloped culture of data sharing and several major technological and operational barriers. A major concern for researchers is appropriate benefits from data sharing. Most respondents would accept data archiving policies of journals. Researchers also express concerns about how to easily and efficiently deal with data and data quality in public databases. Expectations for biodiversity databases include standardization of data format, user-friendly data submission tools, formats for different types of data and coordination among databases. The survey results provide suggestions for improving data sharing and archiving by individual scientists, organizations, journals, and databases.