Reusing Scientific Data: How Earthquake Engineering Researchers Assess the Reusability of Colleagues’ Data
Investments in cyberinfrastructure and e-Science initiatives are motivated by the desire to accelerate scientific discovery. Always viewed as a foundation of science, data sharing is appropriately seen as critical to the success of such initiatives, but new technologies supporting increasingly data-intensive and collaborative science raise significant challenges and opportunities. Overcoming the technical and social challenges to broader data sharing is a common and important research objective, but increasing the supply and accessibility of scientific data is no guarantee data will be applied by scientists. Before reusing data created by others, scientists need to assess the data’s relevance, they seek confidence the data can be understood, and they must trust the data. Using interview data from earthquake engineering researchers affiliated with the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), we examine how these scientists assess the reusability of colleagues’ experimental data for model validation.