The Role of Data in an Emerging Research Community:

Environmental Health Research as an Exemplar


Open science data benefit society by facilitating convergence across domains that are examining the same scientific problem. While cross-disciplinary data sharing and reuse is essential to the research done by convergent communities, so far little is known about the role data play in how these communities interact. An understanding of the role of data in these collaborations can help us identify and meet the needs of emerging research communities which may predict the next challenges faced by science. This paper represents an exploratory study of one emerging community, the environmental health community, examining how environmental health research groups form, collaborate, and share data. Five key insights about the role of data in emerging research communities are identified and suggestions are made for further research.

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