Project: Education Researchers’ Beliefs and Barriers towards Data Sharing

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Data sharing is increasingly becoming a highly encouraged or required practice for any federally funded research projects. However, the uptake of these practices in the field of education science has been minimal. Research suggests that many researchers believe data sharing should be practiced always or often, but also suggests that many researchers rarely practice data sharing. This disconnect indicates a general lack of understanding around data sharing and suggests there are salient barriers that prevent education researchers from engaging in the practice. This work examines (a) the prevalence of positive attitudes and perceived barriers to data sharing in a sample of education researchers, and (b) whether those that identify with negative attitudes towards the barriers of data sharing simultaneously hold positive attitudes toward the benefit of data sharing.
This work is a secondary analysis of a larger study that surveyed researchers on a wide range of topics related to data stewardship (see the preregistration for the larger study on the Open Science Framework). For the larger study, anonymous survey links were distributed to potential participants after Institutional Review Board approval was granted. Survey invitations were sent to Special Education Research Accelerator (SERA) partners and to the listservs of three divisions of the American Education Research Association (AERA). The research team also used the award databases of IES and NSF to identify previously funded projects by researchers in the field of education; with invitations sent to primary investigators who received funding prior to 2020. Additionally, a link to the survey was posted on Twitter. While the larger survey included questions on multiple factors, in this paper we focus on items related to data sharing. Participants were asked to what degree they agree or disagree with each item using a 7-point Likert scale (strongly disagree to strongly agree). Items are listed in Table 1.
Research questions examined the extent of agreement to positive beliefs and potential barriers to data sharing, as well as differences in barrier agreements between participants grouped by attitudes and experience.

Project Active From
May 2022 to August 2023
Project Descriptor(s)
Developmental Design
Educational Environment

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  • Dataset: Data Sharing Beliefs and Attitudes Data
    Last update: October 10, 2023
    Description: Data used for Data Sharing project analyses. This is a subset of a larger dataset from the Data Management Project. Our subset includes variables relevant to our RQs and observations who completed par...

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