(21 Jun 2022) Most biomedical and health researchers who declare their willingness to share the data behind journal articles do not respond to access requests or hand over the data when asked, a study reports.
Livia Puljak, who studies evidence-based medicine at the Catholic University of Croatia in Zagreb, and her colleagues analyzed 3,556 biomedical and health science articles published in a month by 282 BMC journals. (BMC is part of Springer Nature, the publisher of Nature; Nature’s news team is editorially independent of its publisher.)
The team identified 381 articles with links to data stored in online repositories and another 1,792 papers for which the authors indicated in statements that their data sets would be available on reasonable request. The remaining studies stated that their data were in the published manuscript and its supplements, or generated no data, so sharing did not apply.
But of the 1,792 manuscripts for which the authors stated they were willing to share their data, more than 90% of corresponding authors either declined or did not respond to requests for raw data (see ‘Data-sharing behavior’). Only 14%, or 254, of the contacted authors responded to e-mail requests for data, and a mere 6.7%, or 120 authors, actually handed over the data in a usable format. The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology on 29 May.
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