Barriers to sharing water quality data: experiences from the Shale Network

Kathryn J. Brasier, Kirk Jalbert, Abby J. Kinchy, Susan L. Brantley, Colleen Unroe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The Shale Network is a group of stakeholders collating, publishing, and conducting research on water quality data collected in the northeastern United States experiencing natural gas extraction from shale using hydraulic fracturing. In developing the Shale Network, we have experienced reluctance to share data from all participating sectors. This paper explores this reluctance, identifying barriers to greater collaboration among multiple stakeholders in natural resource management projects. Findings are derived from participant observation of the Shale Network team, surveys conducted during Shale Network workshops, interviews with water quality stakeholders, and participant observation of water quality monitoring training sessions. The barriers identified include perceptions about data problems and quality, technical capacity, regulatory and legal limitations, competition for resources, and resource allocation decisions. This paper identifies strategies the Shale Network has used to overcome data-sharing barriers to expand a culture of data sharing that supports enhanced nature resource management and citizen engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2103-2121
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Marcellus Shale
  • citizen science
  • community-based resource management
  • data sharing
  • transdisciplinary research
  • water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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