The STM Research Data program began in 2020 with the aim of accelerating the roll out of publisher solutions, supporting researchers to share, link and cite research data. While excellent progress was made in the first 12 months, efforts to continue to promote data sharing as widely as possible will continue into 2021 and beyond. Data sharing activities originated in biomedical research areas over 20 years ago, and the majority of progress has been made in supporting researchers in scientific areas, such as medical, life sciences and earth sciences.
As part of the continuing research data activities, a group of publishers have come together to discuss how progress can be made to encourage data sharing by authors in humanities journals. We acknowledge that humanities research activities are different from the sciences, and generate different outputs. Yet currently, this is not always reflected in publishers’ standard data sharing policies and accompanying resources.
There will be a number of areas of consideration for this working group. The benefits or drivers for sharing data in the sciences do not automatically transfer to humanities research (for example, reproducibility); and existing terminology, resources and functionality may not be fit for purpose to result in widespread adoption of data sharing policies. The group will encourage sharing of qualitative data and other resources that may not typically be thought of as ‘data.’ We acknowledge that these may require different solutions to those currently in place for quantitative data.
Our goal is to align policies that support openness, transparency and data sharing among humanities-based journals. The humanities can benefit from sharing more of their research outputs and methods, and our goal is to develop policies that will foster greater transparency and collaboration among academics and demonstrate the rigorous nature of humanities research.
Whilst the group is initially made up of publishers, we will actively seek input from researchers, funders, institutions, repositories and other research stakeholders, and we acknowledge that aligning expectations and support across stakeholders will be the best way to positively influence data sharing practices.
If you are interested in being part of the project, please reach out to the group co-chairs.