Open access to research data and making data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (according to the FAIR data principles) are topics that have gained increasing traction in recent years among funders, librarians, researchers and policy makers across the globe.Much of the conversation focuses on the technical challenges and proposed solutions involved in opening, sharing and searching for research data. These processes are not purely technical, but are situated in and shaped by the norms and practices of research communities. Creating sustainable tools and policies to support data practices demands deeper understanding of the research practices of different epistemic communities.
This presentation will examine the sociotechnical practices of data search and reuse, probing the “F” and “R” of FAIR, by presenting findings from semi-structured interviews and a recent cross-disciplinary survey. I will suggest how these findings can be applied to designing systems for data discovery and to the development of policies for open research data.