To share or not to share in the emerging era of big data

perspectives from fish telemetry researchers on data sharing

Vivian M. Nguyen*, Jill L. Brooks, Nathan Young, Robert J. Lennox, Neal Haddaway, Frederick G. Whoriskey, Robert Harcourt, Steven J. Cooke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)


The potential for telemetry data to answer complex questions about aquatic animals and their interactions with the environment is limited by the capacity to store, manage, and access data across the research community. Large telemetry networks and databases exist, but are limited by the actions of researchers to share their telemetry data. Promoting data sharing and understanding researchers’ views on open practices is a major step toward enhancing the role of big data in ecology and resources management. We surveyed 307 fish telemetry researchers to understand their perspectives and experiences on data sharing. A logistic regression revealed that data sharing was positively related to researchers with collaborative tendencies, who belong to a telemetry network, who are prolific publishers, and who express altruistic motives for their research. Researchers were less likely to have shared telemetry data if they engage in radio and (or) acoustic telemetry, work for regional government, and value the time it takes to complete a research project. We identify and provide examples of both benefits and concerns that respondents have about sharing telemetry data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1260-1274
Number of pages15
JournalCanadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

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