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Benefit of Sharing

Studies that make their datasets publicly available receive more citations, according to a PeerJ paper from Heather Piwowar and Todd Vision at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center and Duke University.

The duo examined more than 10,500 studies that generated microarray-based gene expression data, a quarter of which archived the new data in either GEO or Array Express. After controlling for factors like publication date, journal impact factor, and where the authors were from, among others, Piwowar and Vision found that citations were 9 percent higher for studies that deposited their data into a repository.

They note, though, that the effect appears to be dependent on the year of publication. Papers published in 2004 and 2005, they report, show the greatest — 30 percent — benefit.

"Professional advancement in science is still highly dependent on how well your paper gets cited, even in a field like genomics where the data underlying that paper may have far more scientific impact over the long term," Vision says in a statement. "Until the happy day when hiring and promotion committees catch up with how to value data sharing for its own sake, it is comforting to know that scientists can still receive credit for data sharing in a currency that counts."