Chris Wiggins sent me a link to this article by Caroline Savage and Andrew Vickers, which, as he puts it, “takes an empirical approach to revealing the community’s publishing practices.” Here’s the abstract:
Many journals now require authors share their data with other investigators, either by depositing the data in a public repository or making it freely available upon request. These policies are explicit, but remain largely untested. We sought to determine how well authors comply with such policies by requesting data from authors who had published in one of two journals with clear data sharing policies. . . .
We received only one of ten raw data sets requested. This suggests that journal policies requiring data sharing do not lead to authors making their data sets available to independent investigators.
Not good. Personally, I hate it when people don’t share their data. I’ve found researchers in biomedical sciences to be particularly bad about this, possibly because (a) these are big-money fields where the investigators are just too damn busy to reply to requests, and (b) pain-in-the-butt Institutional Review Boards make it difficult to share data. Bad stuff all around, and maybe Savage and Vickers’s paper will be a valuable wake-up call.