Understanding data search as a socio-technical practice

Kathleen M. Gregory, Helena Cousijn, Paul Groth, Andrea Scharnhorst, Sally Wyatt

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
93 Downloads (Pure)


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. The socio-technical problem of locating data for reuse is often reduced to the technological dimension of designing data search systems. We combine a bibliometric study of the current academic discourse around data search with interviews with data seekers. In this article, we explore how adopting a contextual, socio-technical perspective can help to understand user practices and behavior and ultimately help to improve the design of data discovery systems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Information Science
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Data retrieval
  • data reuse
  • data search
  • information seeking
  • research data


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