Factors influencing the data sharing behavior of researchers in sociology and political science

Wolfgang Zenk-Möltgen (Data Archive for the Social Sciences, GESIS–Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Cologne, Germany)
Esra Akdeniz (Data Archive for the Social Sciences, GESIS–Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Cologne, Germany)
Alexia Katsanidou (Data Archive for the Social Sciences, GESIS–Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Cologne, Germany)
Verena Naßhoven (Data Archive for the Social Sciences, GESIS–Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Cologne, Germany)
Ebru Balaban (Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories, Bamberg, Germany)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Publication date: 10 September 2018

Abstract

Purpose

Open data and data sharing should improve transparency of research. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how different institutional and individual factors affect the data sharing behavior of authors of research articles in sociology and political science.

Design/methodology/approach

Desktop research analyzed attributes of sociology and political science journals (n=262) from their websites. A second data set of articles (n=1,011; published 2012-2014) was derived from ten of the main journals (five from each discipline) and stated data sharing was examined. A survey of the authors used the Theory of Planned Behavior to examine motivations, behavioral control, and perceived norms for sharing data. Statistical tests (Spearman’s ρ, χ2) examined correlations and associations.

Findings

Although many journals have a data policy for their authors (78 percent in sociology, 44 percent in political science), only around half of the empirical articles stated that the data were available, and for only 37 percent of the articles could the data be accessed. Journals with higher impact factors, those with a stated data policy, and younger journals were more likely to offer data availability. Of the authors surveyed, 446 responded (44 percent). Statistical analysis indicated that authors’ attitudes, reported past behavior, social norms, and perceived behavioral control affected their intentions to share data.

Research limitations/implications

Less than 50 percent of the authors contacted provided responses to the survey. Results indicate that data sharing would improve if journals had explicit data sharing policies but authors also need support from other institutions (their universities, funding councils, and professional associations) to improve data management skills and infrastructures.

Originality/value

This paper builds on previous similar research in sociology and political science and explains some of the barriers to data sharing in social sciences by combining journal policies, published articles, and authors’ responses to a survey.

Keywords

Citation

Zenk-Möltgen, W., Akdeniz, E., Katsanidou, A., Naßhoven, V. and Balaban, E. (2018), "Factors influencing the data sharing behavior of researchers in sociology and political science", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 74 No. 5, pp. 1053-1073. https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-09-2017-0126

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.