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      Data sharing in low-resourced research environments

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      a , a , b
      Prometheus
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            Abstract

            ‘Open data’ has recently emerged as a label for renewed attempts to promote scientific exchange. As part of such efforts, the posting of data online is often portrayed as commonly beneficial: individual scientists accrue greater prominence while at the same time fostering communal knowledge. Yet, how scientists in non-Western research settings assess such calls for openness has been the subject of little empirical study. Based on extended fieldwork with biochemistry laboratories in sub-Sahara Africa, this paper examines a variety of reasons why scientists opt for closure over openness with regard to their own data. We argue that the heterogeneity of research environments calls into question many of the presumptions made as part of open data. Inequalities in research environments can mean that moves towards sharing create binds and dilemmas. These observations suggest that those promoting openness must critically examine current research governance and funding systems that continue to perpetuate disparities. The paper proposes an innovative approach to facilitating openness: coupling the sharing of data with enabling scientists to redress their day-to-day research environment demands. Such a starting basis provides an alternative but vital link between the aspirations for science aired today as part of international discussions and the daily challenges of undertaking research in low-resourced environments.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Contributors
            Journal
            10.2307/j50022063
            prometheus
            Prometheus
            Pluto Journals
            0810-9028
            1470-1030
            1 September 2016
            : 34
            : 3-4 ( doiID: 10.1080/prometheus.34.issue-3-4 )
            : 207-224
            Affiliations
            B.Rappert@ 123456exeter.ac.uk
            [ a ]Department of Sociology, Philosophy, and Anthropology, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
            [ b ]Steve Biko Centre for Bioethics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
            Article
            08109028.2017.1325142
            10.1080/08109028.2017.1325142
            f48111e4-32ee-4d08-873e-21c2a5a24a87
            © 2016 Pluto Journals

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Custom metadata
            eng

            Computer science,Arts,Social & Behavioral Sciences,Law,History,Economics

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