By Stacy Masucci
The existing notions of big data and the value of sharing information is a controversial subject from its core- should we share information, how much, and if so how?
In a recent article from the UCLA Newsroom, Christine Borgman (UCLA Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies) explains her vision for a new project (which has a three-year grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation). Simply, the project will look at how researchers in a data-intensive environment handle and share information. But on closer inspection, the project is much more than that. Of note is the question that was posed in the title of the grant:
“If data sharing is the answer, what is the question?”
Finding that root “question” is truly at the heart of the project. The group will analyze how data is handled in four research projects (astronomy, biology and medical sciences). They will simplify data practices and present findings back to the scientific communities as well as to funding agencies, government agencies, publishers and stakeholders, to effect change in current policy. There are no specifics within the article as to which policies the group is targeting, but the report will certainly be of great interest and will no doubt shape future roles and responsibilities of stakeholders.
Personally, I can’t wait to see what the question is…