Motivating data contributions via a distinct career currency

Mark Westoby*, Daniel S. Falster, Julian Schrader

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


If collecting research data is perceived as poorly rewarded compared to data synthesis and analysis, this can slow overall research progress via two effects. People who have already collected data may be slow to make it openly accessible. Also, researchers may reallocate effort from collecting fresh data to synthesizing and analysing data already accessible. Here, we advocate for a second career currency in the form of data contributions statements embedded within applications for jobs, promotions and research grants. This workable step forward would provide for peer opinion to operate across thousands of selection and promotion committees and granting panels. In this way, fair valuation of data contributions relative to publications could emerge.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20202830
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings. Biological sciences
Issue number1946
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2021


  • career
  • currency
  • data contributions


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