Data wealth, data poverty, science and cyberinfrastructure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Changes in access to data are leading to rapid 'data wealth' in some scientific fields, even as others remain 'data-poor'. Furthermore, the current attention towards developing computer-based infrastructures and digital access to common data sets - the basics of scientific 'cyberinfrastructures' - are too-focused on fields of study characterized by data wealth. To better understand the implications of this twin pursuit of data wealth and cyberinfrastructure, I articulate how data-poor scholarly fields differ from data-rich fields. I then suggest four actions that scholars in data-poor fields can take to improve their work's value to science and society in lieu of being data-rich and propose three design considerations for cyberinfrastructures that can better support data-poor scholarly endeavors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-371
Number of pages17
JournalPrometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Computerization
  • Cyberinfrastructure
  • Data
  • E-science
  • Science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Research and Theory
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management


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