• Open Access

Willing or unwilling to share primary biodiversity data: results and implications of an international survey

Authors

  • Xiaolei Huang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1 Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
    2. Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
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  • Bradford A. Hawkins,

    1. Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA
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  • Fumin Lei,

    1. Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1 Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
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  • Gary L. Miller,

    1. USDA-ARS Systematic Entomology Laboratory, 10300 Baltimore Avenue, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA
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  • Colin Favret,

    1. Université de Montréal Biodiversity Centre, 4101 rue Sherbrook est, Montréal QC H1×2B2, Canada
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  • Ruiling Zhang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1 Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
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  • Gexia Qiao

    1. Key Laboratory of Zoological Systematics and Evolution, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1 Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China
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  • Editor Andrew Pullin

Gexia Qiao, Xiaolei Huang, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 1 Beichen West Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100101, China. Tel: 0086 10 64807133; fax: 0086 10 64807099. E-mail: qiaogx@ioz.ac.cn, huangxl@ioz.ac.cn

Abstract

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 article-related biodiversity data, more than 60% 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.

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