Factors influencing researcher satisfaction with data reuse examined in new article – preprint available


What data quality attributes influence data reusers’ satisfaction? Ixchel M. Faniel, Adam Kriesberg and Elizabeth Yakel discuss their findings in “Social Scientists’ Satisfaction with Data Reuse” forthcoming in The Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. A preprint of the article is now available.

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Examining the relationship between data quality and data reusers' satisfaction, the authors found that “satisfaction corresponded with reusing data that were comprehensive, easy to obtain, easy to manipulate, and believable.” Documentation quality was positively related to data reusers’ satisfaction as well.

Given these findings, the authors suggest several activities and services for data repository staff to consider if an aim is to increase reusers’ satisfaction.

  • Work with the repository’s designated community of users to understand what makes documentation high quality and to create guidelines for data producers and repository staff to follow.
  • Assess data quality upon deposit and be transparent about data’s limitations.
  • Provide additional information about data sets that are less than complete - e.g. what’s missing and why.
  • Set embargo periods for data that balance the needs of data producers and reusers given publication cycles and disciplinary norms.
  • Clearly outline the process through which restricted access data are made available.
  • Track and list works that support and critique the data housed in the repository.
  • Provide guidance and instruction for data sets that are commonly combined.


Much of the recent research on digital data repositories has focused on assessing either the trustworthiness of the repository or quantifying the frequency of data reuse. Satisfaction with the data reuse experience, however, has not been widely studied. Drawing from the information systems and information science literatures, we develop a model to examine the relationship between data quality and data reusers’ satisfaction. Based on a survey of 1,480 journal article authors who cited Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) data in published papers from 2008 – 2012, we found several data quality attributes - completeness, accessibility, ease of operation, and credibility – had significant positive associations with data reusers’ satisfaction. There was also a significant positive relationship between documentation quality and data reusers’ satisfaction.


Faniel, I. M., Kriesberg, A. and Yakel, E. (2015), Social scientists' satisfaction with data reuse. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. doi: 10.1002/asi.23480

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Patrick A. Confer
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OCLC Research