Data sharing has become an important issue in modern biodiversity research to address large scale questions. Despite the steadily growing scientific demand, data are not easily accessed. Why is this the case? This study explores the reasons for the reluctance to share data on the one hand and the motivations for sharing on the other by summarising results from > 60 interviews and > 700 survey participants within the biodiversity science community. As result, there is a clear commitment to share biodiversity data, but also a reluctance to actually do so due to a mixture of social and technical impediments, such as loss of control over data and lack of professional reward for sharing. This exploratory study summarises the formal and technical requirements for data sharing and reuse, stated by voluntarily participating scientists worldwide. To ensure sustainable data use, user friendly data infrastructure have to be expanded or newly designed, data management plans for all scientific investigations have to be promoted, training for the users has to be provided and motivational aspects at all stages of data submission and re-use have to be considered.