Since 2014, the Make Data Count (MDC) initiative has focused on building the social and technical infrastructure for the development of research data metrics. With funding from the National Science Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the initiative has transformed from a research project with an aim to understand what researchers value about their data, to an infrastructure development project, and now into a full-fledged adoption initiative.  The team is proud to announce additional funding from the Sloan Foundation to focus on widespread adoption of standardized data usage and data citation practices, the building blocks for open research data metrics.

Expanded team & expanded scope

In broadening our scope and refining our adoption efforts, we are thrilled to announce new MDC team members. By including key community players in the adoption and research landscapes, we can look beyond infrastructure development and more effectively reach our publisher and repository stakeholders. 

  • Crossref: We welcome Crossref, who will help guide our data citation work at publishers in conjunction with existing data citation initiatives (e.g., Scholix). By having an increased presence at publisher meetings and building up support in the Crossref member community, we aim to see many more journals properly contributing to the data citation landscape. 
  • Bibliometricians: With an increased pressure by research stakeholders to have data metrics at the ready, we are pleased to be working with a group of expert bibliometricians who will begin studies into researcher behavior around data re-use. It is essential that our driving motives for the development of data metrics are evidence based and we welcome Dr. Stefanie Haustein (University of Ottawa, Co-Director ScholCommLab) and Dr. Isabella Peters (ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics) and their labs to our team. 

“I am excited to join and work closely together with the MDC team on the development of data metrics. Our team at the ScholCommLab in Canada and Isabella’s research group in Germany will use a mixed-methods approach and apply bibliometric as well as qualitative methods to analyze discipline-specific data citation and reuse patterns. We hope to provide much-needed evidence to develop meaningful data metrics that can help researchers showcase the importance of data sharing.”
– Dr. Stefanie Haustein

Our goals for the MDC initiative going forward are three-fold:

  1. Increased adoption of standardized data usage across repositories through enhanced processing and reporting services
  2. Increased implementations of proper data citation practices at publishers by working in conjunction with publisher advocacy groups and societies
  3. Promotion of bibliometrics qualitative and quantitative studies around data usage and citation behaviors

The responsible use and application of data metrics and data citation must become a community norm across all disciplines if data creation, curation, stewardship, reuse and discovery are to be properly valued. By partnering with key infrastructure providers and researchers, Make Data Count is ensuring that the adoption of data metrics and data citation are researcher led, discipline specific and evidence based. This is crucial if we are to avoid the perverse consequences created by the misuse of article citations and metrics, such as those based on journal rank and impact factor.”
Dr. Catriona MacCallum, Director of Open Science, Hindawi

“MDC has put data metrics at the center of the debate on data sharing. Now, it is time to make data metrics a reality. The development of an ambitious infrastructure for data metrics, supported by the research of Stefanie Haustein, Isabella Peters and colleagues, creates the unique environment to turn data metrics into a tangible reality; expanding the analytical toolset for scientometric research and science policy making. Such transformation is meant to contribute not only to increase the importance of data sharing in scientific practice, but also to radically transform how science is being currently developed, measured and evaluated.”
Dr. Rodrigo Costas, Senior Researcher, CWTS, Leiden University

Driven by two separate grant funds, one focused on the deployment of data usage services, a bibliometrics dashboard, and publisher data citation campaigns (PI Lowenberg) and the other on understanding what is meaningful for data metrics (PI Haustein), the MDC team is moving full steam ahead on these adoption goals. The MDC initiative can only be effective with broad and diverse community participation. Follow along for announcements of webinars and events for community involvement and check out our announcement at the ScholCommLab blog for more details on the bibliometrics work ahead.

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