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I totally agree that we, as data supporters, should expect the question ‘What is in it for me?’. It might indeed be useful to have testimonials at your disposal, but I would rather have some ‘evidence’ in the form of scientific papers (or data, of course) that - preferably - shows a citation advantage for data sharing | Student Essentials 4 Data Support 

As a data supporter, you advise a researcher about measures to work with integrity and reproducibility and to deliver FAIR data. You can expect the question "What is in it for me?". If you are asked this question, it can help to have testimonials and scientific evidence at your disposal that show how other researchers have benefited. In this section, we have prepared a list for you. 

Researchers having their say

Below you will see a number of testimonials of researchers. Why do they find reproducibility, open science and FAIR data management important?

  • Open science
    The following video, which is part of the Open Science MOOC (n.d.), gives a number of researchers a chance to talk about what open science means to them in practice.

  • Working reproducibly 
    Have a look at Patrick Vandewalle's experiences with reproducible working, including the sharing of software and code.

Are you curious about the tools Patrick spoke about?

They were RunMyCode (n.d.) and ResearchCompendia (n.d).
You may also want to read his articles about reproducible research:

  • Publishing research data
    4TU.ResearchData asked researchers for their experiencec in publishing their data in a data archive. In this case, in 4TU.ResearchData (n.d.). 
  • Other examples

The science that speaks

The answer to the question what motivates researchers (other than the one you have in front of you) to share data is partly to be found in the scientific literature. Different studies (e.g. Van den Eynden & Bishop, 2014; Digital Science, 2017Houtkoop, 2018; Zuiderwijk & Spiers, 2019) separately show that there are three main reasons:  

1. Sharing data leads to increased visibility and a citation advantage

As early as 2007, scientific studies have been published showing that the publication of research data leads to increased visibility, reuse and citation and thus recognition of scientific work (Piwowar, 2007). The following studies confirm this effect:

Research by Colavizza et al. (2019) shows that the citation advantage is greater if the underlying data is actually published in a data archive and not just as supplementary material.

Do you want to search for data about data sharing? Try Google Dataset Search (n.d.) or one of the other strategies in the section 'Searching for data'.

2. Sharing data is good for science itself

The publication of data has direct benefits for the research itself, for the scientific discipline and for science in general by enabling new collaborations and new types of use of existing data. The sharing of data is also a prerequisite for verifying or reproducing research, and this - in turn - leads to trust in science. In addition, less resources and time is wasted when data is reused. 

Although it is theoretically very plausible that data sharing is good for science, in practice examples of reuse are easier to find in the big sciences, where an infrastructure often already exists and where responsible data management is of paramount importance. Think, for example, of the Hubble Telescope (Hubblesite, n.d.). The observations carried out with this telescope cost a lot of money and can only be done once. The Hubble Telescope data is reused on a large scale (NASA, 2011a).

Other examples: 

  • When reanalyzing old data, NASA researchers discover a new planet (NASA, 2011b).
  • When reanalyzing RNA sequence data, researchers discover so-called fusion genes ( (Kangaspeska, 2012).
  • Researchers were able to draw conclusions about the climate at the time from old observations of the places where whales were caught in the Arctic (de la Mare, 1997).
  • Since the end of 2010, DANS EASY knows a form of peer review. From the data of one of the reviewed datasets (DANS, n.d.) you can see that 3 out of 8 users intend to use the data for their own publication. 

Examples of the reuse of research data can be an incentive for researchers to make their research data available as well. However, the reuse of data is still insufficiently mapped (Pasquetto, 2017). 

3. Third parties require it

Research funders and publishers have a significant influence on the sharing of research data. See the paragraph data policy for more information.

Research data published from 2007 onwards have gradually attracted more citations reflecting a bias towards more recent research data which might be due to the awareness of and demand for research data reuse | Fecher, 2015


Click to open/close

4TU.ResearchData (n.d.).

Belter, C.W. (2014). Measuring the Value of Research Data: A Citation Analysis of Oceanographic Data Sets. PLoS ONE 9(3): e92590.

Botstein, D. (2010). It’s the data! Molecular Biology of the Cell, 21(1), pp.4–6.

Digital Science. Hahnel, M., Treadway, J., Fane, B., Kiley, R., Peters, D., Baynes, G. (2017). The State of Open Data Report 2017.

DANS (n.d.). Detailed reactions for 'Bestand Bodemgebruik 2006 - BBG'06'. Retrieved from

DANS (2013). Data delen: goed voor de wetenschap, goed voor u. [video]

Dorch, B. (2012). On the citation advantage of linking to data: Astrophysics.

Fecher, B., Friesike, S., & Hebing, M. (2015). What drives academic data sharing? PLoS One, 10(2), e0118053.

Goodman, A., e.a. (2014). 10 Simple Rules for the Care and Feeding of Scientific Data. Retrieved from

Google Dataset Search (n.d.). 

Henneken, E.A. & Accomazzi, A. (2011). Linking to data - effect on citation rates in astronomy, Digital Libraries; Instrumentation; Methods for Astrophysics.

Houtkoop, B.L., Chambers, C., Macleod, M., Bishop, D.V.M., Nichols, T.E., Wagenmakers, E-J. (2018). Data sharing in pyschology; A survey on barriers and preconditions.

Hubble Site (n.d.). Retrieved from

Kangaspeska, S., Hultsch, S., Edgren, H., Nicorici, D., Murumägi, A., Kallioniemi, O. (2012). Reanalysis of RNA-Sequencing Data Reveals Several Additional Fusion Genes with Multiple Isoforms. PLoS ONE 7(10): e48745. 

Mare, W.K. de la. (1997). Abrupt mid-twentieth centry decline in Antarctic sea-ice extent from whaling records. Nature, 389, 57-60.

NASA. (2011a). Hubble racks up 10,000 science papers [News]

NASA. (2011b). Astronomers find elusive planets in decade-old Hubble data.

Pasquetto, I.V., Randles, B.M. and Borgman, C.L., 2017. On the Reuse of Scientific Data. Data Science Journal, 16, p.8. 

Pienta, A.M., Alter, G. C. & Lyle, J.A. (2010). The Enduring Value of Social Science Research: The Use and Reuse of Primary Research Data. Retrieved from

Piwowar, H.A., Day, R.S., Fridsma, D.B. (2007) Sharing Detailed Research Data Is Associated with Increased Citation Rate. PLoS ONE 2(3): e308.

Piwowar, H.A., Vision, T.J. (2013). Data reuse and the open data citation advantage. PeerJ1:e175.

Runmycode (n.d). Retrieved from

Research Compendia (n.d.). See notice on

SPARC Europe (n.d.).European Open Data Champions.

Untrecht University (n.d.). RDM Support. RDM Stories.

Van den Eynden, V., Knight, G., Vlad, A., Radler, B., Tenopir, C., Leon, D. et al. (2016): Survey of Wellcome researchers and their attitudes to open research. figshare. Paper.

Vandewalle, P., Kovacevic, J., Vetterli, M. (2009). Reproducible Research in Signal Processing - What, why, and how. IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, 26 (3). pp. 37-47.

Vandewalle, P. (2012). Code Sharing is Associated with Research Impact in Image Processing. IEEE Computing in Science and Engineering, 14 (4). pp. 42-47.

Wicherts (2019). The citation advantage of linking publications to research data.

Zuiderwijk, A., Spiers, H. (2019). Sharing and re-using open data: A case study of motivations in astrophysics. International Journal of Information Management. Volume 49, pages 228-241.