Understanding Data Retrieval Practices: A Social Informatics Perspective

Kathleen Gregory, Helena Cousijn, Paul Groth, A.M. Scharnhorst, S.M.E. Wyatt

Research output: Working paper/discussion paperPreprint

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Open research data are heralded as having the potential to increase effectiveness, productivity, and reproducibility in science, but little is known about the actual practices involved in data search and retrieval. The socio-technical problem of locating data for (re)use is often reduced to the technological dimension of designing data search systems. In this article, we explore how a social informatics perspective can help to better analyze the current academic discourse about data retrieval as well as to study user practices and behaviors. We employ two methods in our analysis - bibliometrics and interviews with data seekers - and conclude with a discussion of the implications of our findings for designing data discovery systems.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 15 Jan 2018


  • data retrieval, data practices, data search, information seeking, information behaviour


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