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Asking nicely: Best practices for requesting data

June 28, 2022

Compiling disparate datasets into publicly available composite databases helps natural resource communities explore ecological trends and effectively manage across spatiotemporal scales. Though some studies have reported on the database construction phase, fewer have evaluated the data acquisition and distribution process. To facilitate future data sharing collaborations, Louisiana State University surveyed data providers and requestors to understand the characteristics of effective data requests and sharing. Data providers were largely U.S. natural resource agency personnel, and they reported that unclear data requests, privacy issues, and rigid timelines and formats were the greatest barriers toward providing data, but that they were motivated by improving science and collaboration. Data requestors identified challenges such as evolving needs, standardization issues, and insufficient resources (time and funding) as barriers to compiling data for these types of efforts. In a time of big data, open access, and collaboration, significant scientific advances can be made with effective requests and inclusion of data sets into larger and more powerful databases.

    Publication Year 2022
    Title Asking nicely: Best practices for requesting data
    DOI 10.1016/j.ecoinf.2022.101729
    Authors Steve R. Midway, Nicholas A. Sievert, Abigail Lynch, Joanna B. Whittier, Kevin L. Pope
    Publication Type Article
    Publication Subtype Journal Article
    Series Title Ecological Indicators
    Index ID 70232351
    Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
    USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Atlanta; National Climate Adaptation Science Center