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Data Access Restrictions Reduce Diversity in Scientific Research, Study Finds

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New technologies have allowed governments and other organizations to collect large, high-quality datasets that can be used in a variety of scientific research. Yet high costs and restrictions can limit both the diversity of researchers who have access and the range of research undertaken with this data.

That's the conclusion of "Improving Data Access Democratizes and Diversifies Science," co-authored by UC Berkeley's Abhishek Nagaraj, Esther Shears, and Mathijs de Vaan, and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Scientific progress heavily relies on data access," de Vaan says. "By restricting data access to only well-funded elite scientists, new research topics that have the potential to have a lot of impact may not materialize."

"In making decisions about data access, data providers should weigh the downstream consequences of restricting access to scientists without substantial resources," de Vaan says.

From University of California, Berkeley 
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