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"The road to data sharing is paved with good intentions": Looking at UK and German University Research Data Policies

Presenter 1
Laurence Horton
London School of Economics and Political Science
Presenter 2
Astrid Recker
GESIS - Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences
Presenter 3
Chloe Dumas

As of late 2014, 20 percent of UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have adopted a Research Data Policy. In contrast, only one percent of German HEIs have adopted one. We examine policies in the context of national funder requirement differences and the overall research funding landscape.  Whereas recommendations exist on what should go into a policy, there is no analysis on what is going into policies. This presentation compares the content of policies from both countries for similarities and differences to see if -- regardless of the differences in the environments -- a standard form and language is emerging. The presentation will illustrate the adoption of two distinct approaches. The first is a 'general principles' approach. This policy is short, strong on the normative values for data re-use and preservation, and general goals, but weak on policy detail and enforcement mechanisms. The other approach is a formal "legalistic" style; it's longer, specific in requirements, strong in definitions, but not necessarily clear in direction or easy for researchers to work with. Policies are tested for type of university (research intensive vs non-research intensive institutions) and age (university cohort). The results of this research fed into LSE's own draft research data policy.

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