Seeing oneself as a data re-user: How subjectification activates the drivers of data reuse in science


Considerable resources are being invested in strategies to facilitate the sharing of data across domains, with the aim of addressing inefficiencies and biases in scientific research and unlocking potential for science-based innovation. Still, we know too little about what determines whether scientific researchers actually make use of the unprecedented volume of data being shared. This study characterizes the factors influencing researcher data reuse in terms of their relationship to a specific research project, and introduces subjectification as the mechanism by which these influencing factors are activated. Based on our analysis of semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of 24 data reusers and intermediaries, we find that while both project-independent and project-dependent factors may have a direct effect on a single instance of data reuse, they have an indirect effect on recurring data reuse as mediated by subjectification. We integrate our findings into a model of recurring data reuse behaviour that presents subjectification as the mechanism by which influencing factors are activated in a propensity to engage in data reuse. Our findings hold scientific implications for the theorization of researcher data reuse, as well as practical implications around the role of settings for subjectification in bringing about and sustaining changes in researcher behaviour.

About Daniel Spichtinger

Daniel Spichtinger is an independent consultant working on open science, including open access and data management policies.

From 2012-2018 he was a member of the unit dealing with open science in the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation.

In this capacity he contributed to the development of EU open access policies (for scientific publications) and open/FAIR research data policies, including the design and implementation of the Open Access to Research Data Pilot in Horizon 2020.

As part of his job, he also developed relations and facilitated inter-institutional and policy dialogue with external stakeholders and other EU institutions. This also involved information and awareness raising on open access, e.g. through public presentations and trainings. He was also responsible for managing several EU funded projects in this area, e.g. RECODE. He is familiar with European level legislation on the subject including the Horizon 2020 regulation, the Recommendation on Access to and Preservation of Scientific Information and the proposed provisions for open access in Horizon Europe.

After finishing his 6 year contract with the Commission, Daniel returned to Vienna and registered as a self-employed expert for Open Science and EU Research Policy in 2018. In this capacity, he has been involved in a number of projects such as

  • An Assessment of EOSC readiness in three European countries (for RFII)
  • An analysis of Horizon 2020 Data Management Plans (for OpenAIRE/the University of Vienna)
  • A study of Open Access and Open Data in Azerbaijan (for IDI/EuropeAID)
  • Recommendations for an Open Access and Research Data Policy in Malta (for EC Policy Support Facility)


He has also provided a number of trainings and publications (see next page) on open access and FAIR data in the context of open science. He is also employed part time at the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft (LBG) where he advises the LBG on third party funding.  

Daniel initially obtained a joint "Magister" (Mag.phil) degree from the University of Vienna (Austria) in English, Communication Science and History (2000), writing his thesis about the global spread of English. He also obtained a Master of Arts in Contemporary European Studies from the University of Bath (UK, 2002), where he first encountered European research policy and tackled the issue of involving civil society in the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for Research.

About Marcel LaFlamme

Marcel LaFlamme is Open Research Manager at the scientific publisher PLOS, where he engages with research communities to collaboratively develop solutions that increase adoption of open research practices. He completed his PhD in anthropology at Rice University in 2018. From 2019 to 2021, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the LBG Open Innovation in Science Center in Vienna.