. "5. Different Interpretations of Existing Standards." Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials: Responsibilities of Authorship in the Life Sciences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.
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Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials: Responsibilities of Authorship in the Life Sciences
validate or refute the major claims) may be appropriate for an advertisement or press release, but it is not appropriate for scientific publication.
An author should only need to disclose or share that which is required to reproduce and validate the published result, nothing more, nothing less.
Presenting results with enough detail so that they can be repeated might be the minimum a journal officially requires of an author but it is substandard from the perspective of the community, in particular, if repeating the work will be labor intensive. Scientists do not read others’ papers in order that they might repeat those experiments; rather they read articles to find insights and gain knowledge that allows them to move forward from that point. Only when scientists are unable to successfully build on results of a paper are they inclined to repeat the author’s experiments. Taking the stance that authors need only furnish what is necessary to repeat one’s experiments removes the value of the cumulative process of science and, considering how science is conducted today, is unrealistic. It is not possible, for example, to get a public research grant to repeat the experiment of another scientist.
Partial access to data in a publication is better than no access at all.
It has been proposed that providing data on a private Web site, with no limit on what can be viewed but with limits on the amount of data that can be downloaded at one time, satisfies the quid pro quo of publication. However, if the data are central or integral to the reported findings, this arrangement violates the spirit of the fundamental principle of allowing other researchers to replicate, verify, and build on the findings. Researchers need to be able to manipulate, query, and transform the data that support a publication’s findings so that they can build on them.
Some categories of materials are difficult, time-consuming, or expensive to reproduce; therefore, requiring authors to share them is unreasonable.
The community has never required an author to provide extensive or ongoing technical support for a requester of materials. If materials are scarce or difficult to replicate, a request could be reasonably met by