The next COPE (Committee on Publication Ethics) forum is on Friday 12th February 2016, when the subject of data sharing will be discussed.
Data sharing, as an indication of improving research transparency, is being implemented at a rapid pace. However, there are signs that the practicality of the process is proving to be challenging for journals and authors. The infrastructure for housing and dealing with the data is inconsistent. Additionally, questions remain regarding how long data will be accessible, and how accessibility will be managed and enforced. There is, inevitably, also a cost to the procedure and this may prove to be significant both in monetary terms and in the resource needed to make it happen. Finally, the issue of compliance needs careful consideration and recognition of the original investigators must be assured.
With this in mind, COPE would like your comments on the following questions:
- Should researchers be required now to make their data available as a condition of publishing?
- Who should disseminate guidelines and/or monitor data sharing practices?
- What issues surround the re-use of published data?
- Should data deposited by authors be subject to peer review? Prior to publication? To settle disputing claims about results? For use in systematic reviews and meta-analyses?
- What best practices are already used by journals, publishers and data repositories that could be adapted for use by others considering data sharing requirements?
- Since past practices do not often enable data sharing in any easy way, should there be an ‘amnesty’ for old work, but stricter standards applied to work now being done?
You can post your views here.
Ryan co-runs Aspire Scientific, a dynamic, forward-thinking medical writing agency. Ryan has a passion for innovation, science and ethical communication.