Article ID: CBB848178675

Why they shared: Recovering early arguments for sharing social scientific data (2020)

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Most social scientists today think of data sharing as an ethical imperative essential to making social science more transparent, verifiable, and replicable. But what moved the architects of some of the U.S.’s first university-based social scientific research institutions, the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research (ISR), and its spin-off, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), to share their data? Relying primarily on archived records, unpublished personal papers, and oral histories, I show that Angus Campbell, Warren Miller, Philip Converse, and others understood sharing data not as an ethical imperative intrinsic to social science but as a useful means to the diverse ends of financial stability, scholarly and institutional autonomy, and epistemological reproduction. I conclude that data sharing must be evaluated not only on the basis of the scientific ideals its supporters affirm, but also on the professional objectives it serves.

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Authors & Contributors
Waller, G. N. H.
Zelle, Carsten
Huggett, Nick
Smith, George E.
Miller, David Marshall
Harper, William
Journals
History of Psychology
Osiris: A Research Journal Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Archives of Natural History
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science
Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society
Publishers
Taylor & Francis
University of California, Los Angeles
The MIT Press
University of Chicago Press
IEEE
Concepts
Data analysis
Data collection; methods
Psychology
Digital humanities
Technology and society
Philosophy of science
People
Newton, Isaac
Riccioli, Giovanni Battista
Lazarsfeld, Paul F.
Time Periods
19th century
21st century
20th century
18th century
17th century
Enlightenment
Places
United States
Great Britain
Ireland
Europe
Germany
Prussia (Germany)
Institutions
Columbia University
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
GenBank
United States. Census Bureau
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