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To Disclose or Not

About half of researchers have discussed their research findings prior to publication, according to a new survey.

As Wired notes, some fields like physics are known for sharing early data through the preprint repository ArXiv, which started in the 1990s and now holds more than a million papers. Life scientists, too, have the preprint server BioRxiv, which started in 2013. But some researchers, it says, are more reticent.

For this study, an international team of researchers surveyed 7,103 active faculty researchers in nine fields and three countries to ask them whether they have shared their results before publication and, if so, why and when. As the team reports in Science Advances, it found that except for two fields — engineering and computer science — researchers were more likely than not to share their results early.

Social scientists and mathematicians, they found, were the most likely to disclose their results, but once basic and clinical medical scientists were sure of their results' validity, they were more likely than mathematicians to disclose their results.

Most researchers said they made prepublication disclosures so to get feedback from their peers, the team found.

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