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It's Good to Share: Why Environmental Scientists’ Ethics Are Out of Date

TitleIt's Good to Share: Why Environmental Scientists’ Ethics Are Out of Date
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSoranno, PA, Cheruvelil, KS, Elliott, KC, Montgomery, GM
Journal TitleBioScience

Although there have been many recent calls for increased data sharing, the majority of environmental scientists do not make their individual data sets publicly available in online repositories. Current data-sharing conversations are focused on overcoming the technological challenges associated with data sharing and the lack of rewards and incentives for individuals to share data. We argue that the most important conversation has yet to take place: There has not been a strong ethical impetus for sharing data within the current culture, behaviors, and practices of environmental scientists. In this article, we describe a critical shift that is happening in both society and the environmental science community that makes data sharing not just good but ethically obligatory. This is a shift toward the ethical value of promoting inclusivity within and beyond science. An essential element of a truly inclusionary and democratic approach to science is to share data through publicly accessible data sets.

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