The Rebecca J. Holz Series in Research Data Management is a monthly lecture series hosted during the spring and fall academic semesters. Research Data Services invites speakers from a variety of disciplines to talk about their research or involvement with data.

On November 15, Morton Ann Gernsbacher, Vilas Research Professor and Sir Frederic Bartlett Professor at UW-Madison, gave her talk titled “Benefits of Open Data and Open Stimuli”. Her slides are embedded below. There is a growing trend among scientists to ensure their research is reproducible by increasing its transparency, and Professor Gernsbacher described four ways researchers can do this: preregistering the study, providing open materials, sharing open data, and supporting open access.

Professor Gernsbacher acknowledged that the above steps take extra time and effort, and require a shift in scientific research culture. However, increased transparency can also benefit researchers in several ways. For example, preregistration of studies submits your design, hypotheses, etc. for peer review prior to publication which can help make your research more transparent as well as mitigate bias. Clearly organizing and thoroughly documenting data will make shared data more reusable and reproducible, but can also benefit the original researcher if they need to return to it, sometimes years in the future. Gernsbacher herself shares her own research and stimuli on her lab website and has done so for years. When data is clean, reproducible, and transparent, it benefits everyone.