Abstract for: National mapping of biomedical research resources through voluntary researcher participation - a mixed design study

Background Although the sharing of research resource information could optimize collaborations and avoid unnecessary resource redundancies, research stakeholders tend to shun voluntary sharing of data and meta-data about research resources. We evaluated the barriers and incentives affecting the voluntary sharing of research resource information from the bottom-up, i.e., among biomedical researchers. Methodology/Principal findings This project used a mixed design, combining qualitative and quantitative methods and a policy model. We asked research stakeholders to share information related to study databases owned or managed by them and point us to other sources of information. Major concerns were related to loss of confidentiality and the imminent conflict with institutional policy. Respondents who shared requested information delivered it in less than 5-8 weeks, while others pointed to alternate sources of information. Conclusions Our policy model points us towards an overall system of behavior that favors the use of combined top-down and bottom-up policies.