sions are based. And journals and professional societies can help ensure that the contributions of data professionals are recognized and rewarded through such mechanisms as prizes, publication, and recognition at disciplinary meetings.

In general, more dialog is needed among researchers, research institutions, and research sponsors about the need for education and training, how sponsors should support the stewardship of data, the role of data professionals, and how institutions and sponsors should respond to reasonable and unreasonable requests for research data. Professional societies and journals can catalyze these dialogues within research fields, providing a base of knowledge that can then be applied across disciplines.


During periods of rapid change, an emphasis on specific policies may be less useful than reiterating and reemphasizing the fundamental principles that should guide action. Thus, we close by restating three general principles that have motivated our recommendations in the areas of data integrity, accessibility, and stewardship.

Data Integrity Principle: Ensuring the integrity of research data is essential for advancing scientific, engineering, and medical knowledge and for maintaining public trust in the research enterprise. Although other stakeholders in the research enterprise have important roles to play, researchers themselves are ultimately responsible for ensuring the integrity of research data.

Data Access and Sharing Principle: Research data, methods, and other information integral to publicly reported results should be publicly accessible.

Data Stewardship Principle: Research data should be retained to serve future uses. Data that may have long-term value should be documented, referenced, and indexed so that others can find and use them accurately and appropriately.

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