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Say They'll Share

A new analysis finds that many researchers who say they would share their data, actually do not when asked, Nature News reports.

Researchers led by the Catholic University of Croatia's Livia Puljak analyzed more than 3,500 biomedical or health science papers published in January 2019 by BioMed Central. After categorizing the papers based on their data availability statements, they contacted the corresponding authors of the papers who indicated in their articles that they would share their data. But as Puljak and her colleagues report in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, they found that 93 percent of those authors either declined to share their data or did not respond to the request. Of the 14 percent of authors — 254 total — who did respond, only 122 provided the asked-for data.

Puljak tells Nature News she was "flabbergasted" by her and her colleagues' results. "There is a gap between what people say and what people do," she says.

Other researchers tell Nature News adds that the findings underscore the need for changes, such as making data sharing statements more detailed or for funders to have more stringent sharing requirements.

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