Reproducible and reusable research: are journal data sharing policies meeting the mark?

This study by N. Vasilevsky et al. set out to analyze the pervasiveness and quality of data sharing policies in the biomedical literature. There is wide agreement in the biomedical research community that research data sharing is a primary ingredient for ensuring that science is more transparent and reproducible. Publishers could play an important role in facilitating and enforcing data sharing; however, many journals have not yet implemented data sharing policies and the requirements vary widely across journals. This study found that only a minority of biomedical journals require data sharing, and a significant association between higher Impact Factors and journals with a data sharing requirement. Moreover, while almost 2/3 of the journals investigated in this article, that required data sharing, also addressed the concept of reproducibility, as with earlier investigations, it was found here that most data sharing policies did not provide specific guidance on the practices ensuring that data is maximally available and reusable.

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