Korean researchers' motivations for publishing in data journals and the usefulness of their data: a qualitative study

Jungyeoun Lee, Jihyun Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study investigated the usefulness and limitations of data journals by analyzing motivations for submission, review and publication processes according to researchers with experience publishing in data journals. Methods: Among 79 data journals indexed in Web of Science, we selected four data journals where data papers accounted for more than 20% of the publication volume and whose corresponding authors belonged to South Korean research institutes. A qualitative analysis was conducted of the subjective experiences of seven corresponding authors who agreed to participate in interviews. To analyze interview transcriptions, clusters were created by restructuring the theme nodes using Nvivo 12. Results: The most important element of data journals to researchers was their usefulness for obtaining credit for research performance. Since the data in repositories linked to data papers are screened using journals' review processes, the validity, accuracy, reusability, and reliability of data are ensured. In addition, data journals provide a basis for data sharing using repositories and da-ta-centered follow-up research using citations and offer detailed descriptions of data. Conclusion: Data journals play a leading role in data-centered research. Data papers are recognized as research achievements through citations in the same way as research papers published in conventional journals, but there was also a perception that it is difficult to attain a similar level of academic recognition with data papers as with research papers. However, researchers highly valued the usefulness of data journals, and data journals should thus be developed into new academic communication channels that enhance data sharing and reuse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
JournalScience Editing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021. Korean Council of Science Editors. All Rights Reserved.


  • Data journal
  • Data paper
  • Information dissemination
  • Motivation
  • Publishing


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