Science policy promotes open access to research data for purposes of transparency and reuse of data in the public interest. We expect demands for open data in scholarly publishing to accelerate, at least partly in response to the opacity of artificial intelligence algorithms. Open data should be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR), and also trustworthy and verifiable. The current state of open data in scholarly publishing is in transition from ‘nice to have’ to ‘need to have.’ Research data are valuable, interpretable, and verifiable only in context of their origin, and with sufficient infrastructure to facilitate reuse. Making research data useful is expensive; benefits and costs are distributed unevenly. Open data also poses risks for provenance, intellectual property, misuse, and misappropriation in an era of trolls and hallucinating AI algorithms. Scholars and scholarly publishers must make evidentiary data more widely available to promote public trust in research. To make research processes more trustworthy, transparent, and verifiable, stakeholders need to make greater investments in data stewardship and knowledge infrastructures.
– Christine L. Borgman UCLA and Amy Brand MIT Press