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Suggestions, Right?

The unwillingness on the part of some researchers to deposit data may be associated with low quality of that data, writes Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine's Kenneth Witwer in Clinical Chemistry.

Witwer examined 127 microarray-based articles published between July 2011 and April 2012 in journals such as PLOS One, the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Blood, and Oncogene to determine whether they complied with the Minimum Information About a Microarray Experiment, or MIAME, guidelines. Those guidelines, published in Nature Genetics in 2001, aimed to establish standards for reporting gene expression data derived from microarray experiments, and were subsequently adopted by many journals.

Witwer reviewed the articles and assigned them a quality score. "Overall, data submission was reported at publication for [less than] 40% of all articles, and almost 75% of articles were MIAME noncompliant," he writes.

Ivan Oransky at Retraction Watch notes that "perhaps not surprisingly, papers whose authors did submit such data scored higher on a quality scale than those whose authors didn't deposit their data."

Oransky also points out that Witwer's findings led to a retraction of a 2011 PLOS One study on host cell response to HIV infection.