Empirical Study of Data Sharing by Authors Publishing in PLoS Journals

TitleEmpirical Study of Data Sharing by Authors Publishing in PLoS Journals
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsSavage, CJ, Vickers, AJ
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume4
Paginatione7078
Date Published2009/09/18/
Publication Languageeng
AbstractBackground Many journals now require authors share their data with other investigators, either by depositing the data in a public repository or making it freely available upon request. These policies are explicit, but remain largely untested. We sought to determine how well authors comply with such policies by requesting data from authors who had published in one of two journals with clear data sharing policies. Methods and Findings We requested data from ten investigators who had published in either PLoS Medicine or PLoS Clinical Trials. All responses were carefully documented. In the event that we were refused data, we reminded authors of the journal's data sharing guidelines. If we did not receive a response to our initial request, a second request was made. Following the ten requests for raw data, three investigators did not respond, four authors responded and refused to share their data, two email addresses were no longer valid, and one author requested further details. A reminder of PLoS's explicit requirement that authors share data did not change the reply from the four authors who initially refused. Only one author sent an original data set. Conclusions We received only one of ten raw data sets requested. This suggests that journal policies requiring data sharing do not lead to authors making their data sets available to independent investigators.
URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0007078
DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0007078
Short TitlePLoS ONE

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