Make Data Count is an initiative that promotes open data metrics to enable the evaluation and reward of research data reuse and impact. 

Our vision: Research data are valued research outputs across scholarly activities, evaluation, and communications.

While there has been an increasing interest in research data and the importance of data sharing in recent years, we lack standardized, adopted ways to evaluate the impact of open data across the research ecosystem. We are thus lacking the means to complete meaningful evaluations that can lead to credit for individual researchers, incentives for data sharing, and an understanding of how open data advances discoveries.

To enable the evaluation of data usage, Make Data Count drives the development of community-led transparent and meaningful open data metrics. 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

Our journey

In 2015, Make Data Count kicked off with a survey to researchers to understand their priorities in understanding open data impact. The results of this survey, focusing on data usage and data citation, have served as the North Star for our initiative through the following stages of our work.

We have pursued projects and collaborations to drive forward our different areas of focus. Some of our accomplishments include:

Our current work aims to drive adoption of best practices in data usage metrics. We are developing tools to make it easier for the community to generate and use data usage information, for example through our work on the Open Global Data Citation Corpus. We are also convening stakeholders to discuss and address steps necessary towards the responsible evaluation of data reuse in the Make Data Count Summit.

We thank the following organizations for their support:

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

Make Data Count Advisory Group

Our initiative is guided by the Make Data Count Advisory Group, which includes representatives of institutions, funders, publishers, data repositories and DataCite. The Advisory Group provides  strategic input towards the scope and activities of Make Data Count, including ongoing projects and outreach. 

Make Data Count 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

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 by contacting the Director of Make Data Count to discuss how to collaborate in relation to ongoing projects, or follow us on Twitter or Mastodon @MakeDataCount.