BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
In recent years, there is widespread recognition of the need to share research data among stakeholders to maximize the impact and utilization of publicly funded resources and to improve the validation and reproducibility of research work. Consequently, there have been many calls by funding agencies and other entities to make research more “open”. Many steps have been taken in this direction. Several agencies that fund research now require that data be shared among researchers. While some others have not made data sharing a requirement, steps have been taken towards this end goal (e.g. NSF’s Data Management Plan and Public Access Plan1).
Sharing research data has multiple advantages and in some disciplines it is hard to make scientific progress without sharing data. In natural sciences – particularly in physical and biological sciences – this is often the case. High energy physicists have made data sharing a requirement to maintain any level of research currency in their field….