Make Data Count is a global, community-driven, initiative focused on establishing standardized metrics for the evaluation and reward of research data reuse and impact. Through both advocacy and implementation projects, Make Data Count facilitates the recognition of data as a primary research output, promoting data sharing and reuse across the data community.

Make Data Count is supported in its mission by a broad network of partnerships and collaborations. By coordinating and advocating for robust infrastructure and guidelines for data citation and data usage, Make Data Count works to advance the adoption of best practices across research communities and platforms. The initiative has three main areas of focus: 

  1. Open infrastructure to enable the evaluation of data reuse
  2. Outreach to drive awareness and adoption of open data metrics 
  3. Evidence on the reuse and impact of open data through collaboration with bibliometricians

Make Data Count advances several strategic priorities that are central to successfully curating research data, including building open, transparent metrics for data use. Understanding how (and how much) research data are used is critically important in developing scholarly and technical systems to support reuse and reproducibility.

– Jamie Wittenberg, University of Colorado Boulder

Frequently Asked Questions 

Looking for basic information about Make Data Count? For details on our goals, the approaches to data metrics we support, and how these can be implemented and used by the community, please refer to our FAQ page.

Governance Model

This governance model is a balance of internal leadership and external advisement, coupled with a rigorous focus on sustainability. This positions Make Data Count as a resilient and forward-thinking change initiative. It also underscores Make Data Count’s commitment to community engagement, while benefiting from the structural and financial support of our partners. Our governance structures are outlined below.

Make Data Count Core Team

The Make Data Count Core Team, led by the Make Data Count Director, orchestrates the operational and strategic trajectory of the initiative. This team harmonizes the efforts of various stakeholders, steering the initiative towards its core mission, and ensuring that Make Data Count’s activities are executed effectively and in alignment with established objectives. The Make Data Count Director serves as a linchpin, connecting the different facets of Make Data Count’s structure, and facilitating communication and collaboration among the various committees and the broader community. Additional members of the team support product development, technical development and communications for Make Data Count.

Make Data Count Advisory Group

The Advisory Group brings external insights and expertise to the initiative, offering guidance on Make Data Count’s activities, projects, and strategic direction. This group comprises individuals from institutions, libraries, publishing, data repositories, administration, technology, funding, reflecting the multifaceted nature of the research data ecosystem. Their contributions are instrumental in ensuring that Make Data Count’s activities are well-informed, relevant, and capable of addressing the nuanced challenges and opportunities within the field of research data metrics. The committee’s full remit is outlined in the Make Data Count Advisory Group Charter.

Current Advisory Group members:

  • Matthew Buys, DataCite
  • John Chodacki, California Digital Library
  • Britta Dreyer, DataCite
  • Scott Edmunds, GigaScience
  • Maria Gould, California Digital Library
  • Kristi Holmes, Northwestern University
  • Jennifer Lin, Independent
  • Jose Benito Gonzalez Lopez, CERN
  • Daniella Lowenberg, University of California Office of the President
  • Chris Mentzel, Stanford University
  • Damian Pattinson, eLife
  • Iratxe Puebla, DataCite
  • Carly Strasser, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Jamie Wittenberg, University of Colorado Boulder

Sustainability Committee

The Sustainability Committee plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the initiative’s long-term viability. The committee’s remit, which is outlined in the Make Data Count Sustainability Committee Charter, encompasses a broad spectrum of responsibilities aimed at ensuring operational, governance, and financial sustainability. The Sustainability Committee works closely with the Make Data Count Director on operational decisions. By providing strategic oversight and recommendations, the committee helps to fortify Make Data Count’s foundation, enabling it to adapt and thrive in a dynamic environment. Current Sustainability Committee members: 

  • Matthew Buys, DataCite
  • John Chodacki, California Digital Library
  • Britta Dreyer, DataCite
  • Daniella Lowenberg, University of California Office of the President

Business model

Make Data Count is committed to ensuring that its outputs are freely and openly available to the community. Funding for Make Data Count comes from a mix of grants, contributions from supporting organizations, and in-kind support from its fiscal home, DataCite. Responsibility for Make Data Count is designed and premised on the following core principles:


Make Data Count’s impact is evident in its advocacy for responsible, meaningful, open data metrics. The adoption of Make Data Count approaches across data repositories, platforms, and communities also showcases our impact, enhancing the visibility and recognition of data as a critical component of scholarly research.

Some of our accomplishments include:

  • The first release of the Data Citation Corpus, which provides the first ever aggregation of citations to data with DOIs and accession numbers.
  • The Make Data Count Summit, an event that convenes researchers, institutional representatives, data administrators, funders, policymakers, publishers and infrastructure providers for dedicated discussions about to data metrics and data evaluation.
  • The development of the COUNTER Code of Practice for research data, a standard for how to generate and distribute usage metrics for research data across repositories and platforms. 
  • Collaboration with the Scholcommlab on the ‘Meaningful Data Counts’ research project focused on the study of data citation and reuse.

We thank the following organizations for their support:

  • National Science Foundation
  • Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award 
  • Wellcome Trust

Making Data Count is a critical first step in bringing attention to the value that data scientists put into research through activities like data cleaning, data merging/collating, and other critical preparation stage work. If Making Data Count is successful, the use of the data sets that result from these efforts will translate into academic credit and help advance their career.

– Chris Mentzel, Stanford University

Join Make Data Count

Make Data Count is a community initiative. We seek to collaborate with individuals, groups and organizations with an interest in responsible approaches to assessing the impact of open data.

If you are interested in learning more about Make Data Count or in collaborating in any of our activities, please do connect with us to discuss how to collaborate in relation to ongoing projects, or follow us on Twitter or Mastodon @MakeDataCount.