Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Communication and Information

Major Professor

Suzie Allard

Committee Members

Dania Bilal, Aly Fathy, Carol Tenopir


Advances in science and technology over the last century have brought dramatic changes to most societies of the world, with a parallel increase in the amounts of research data being produced. Scientific progress in the Middle East geographic region of the world has, in general, lagged far behind Western countries during this same time period. Several Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Persian Gulf countries of the Middle East have recently made huge investments in developing their educational and research capacities, with the goal of establishing a culture and practice of scientific innovation. Several recent studies looking at data sharing and re-use among scientists in North America and Europe have insisted that sharing data is central to the goals of scientific progress. Using the Diffusion of Innovation Theory as a framework, this research looked at the data sharing practices and perspectives of scientists in the Middle East, through the lens of the four main elements of this theory: the innovation, communication channels, time, and the social system. The analysis of this phenomenon may provide a clearer understanding of data sharing as part of the emerging practice of conducting scientific research and its importance to the region. A mixed-methods research approach, using semi-structured interviews and an online survey, was conducted with scientific researchers in GCC nations. A separate analysis was conducted for the country of Qatar.

Orcid ID

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