This document presents the results of the survey by the Platform Mathematics, Astronomy and Physics, which successfully collected in June–July 2020 the diverse opinions of active researchers in Switzerland on the transition towards Open Research Data.
This survey by the Platform Mathematics, Astronomy and Physics (MAP) of the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) was launched in response to recurring comments, questions and sometimes concerns expressed by scientists on the transition towards Open Research Data. Following on other activities of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, such as the Open Data Workshop and the factsheet on Open Science in Switzerland, this survey successfully collected the diverse opinions of active researchers in Switzerland on this important topic. The survey was accessible on the SCNAT website from 10 June to 15 July 2020 and completed by 201 scientists: from PhD students to professors of all scientific fields covered by the Platform MAP and beyond, by researchers in biology, chemistry, geosciences and even in medicine and in the social sciences. The great majority of the participants sees the benefits of the transition towards Open Data policy, but a large fraction of them is concerned about aspects of its implementation. In addition to answering the 16 multiple- choice questions, about a third of the participants took the time to write comments to better express their opinion on the subject. Many are concerned about the time-investment and the costs compared to the potential use and benefit of Open Data. The need to differentiate the practice depending on the scientific field and the type of data is often mentioned. The most critical voices see this transition as an additional administrative burden that takes away resources from actual research. Overall, the results suggest that the scientific community is generally ready to make further efforts towards research data sharing, provided that the needed infrastructures, as well as the financial and technical support gradually improves, and that the effort is in line with the expected benefit of Open Data in the different scientific fields.
Authors: Dr Marc Türler