The following HTML text is provided to enhance online
readability. Many aspects of typography translate only awkwardly to HTML.
Please use the page image
as the authoritative form to ensure accuracy.
Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age
research data either have not yet been established or are in flux. The recent recognition of the inappropriate manipulation of digital images submitted in journal articles illustrates the need for the research enterprise to continue to set clear expectations for appropriate behavior and effectively communicate those expectations.
Recommendation 3: The research enterprise and its stakeholders—researchinstitutions, research sponsors, professional societies, journals, and individualresearchers—should develop and disseminate professional standards for ensuringthe integrity of research data and for ensuring adherence to these standards. Inareas where standards differ between fields, it is important that differences beclearly defined and explained. Specific guidelines for data management may requirereexamination and updating as technologies and research practices evolve.
Although all researchers should understand digital technologies well enough to be confident in the integrity of the data they generate, they cannot always be expected to be able to take full advantage of new capabilities. In an increasing number of fields, professionals with expertise specifically in the generation, analysis, storage, or dissemination of data are playing an essential role in taking advantage of digital technologies and ensuring the integrity of research data.
Recommendation 4: Research institutions, professional societies, and journalsshould ensure that the contributions of data professionals to research are appropriately recognized. In addition, research sponsors should acknowledge that financialsupport for data professionals is an appropriate component of research support inan increasing number of fields.
ENSURING ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA
Advances in knowledge depend on the open flow of information. Only if data and research results are shared can other researchers check the accuracy of the data, verify analyses and conclusions, and build on previous work. Furthermore, openness enables the results of research to be incorporated into socially beneficial goods and services and into public policies, improving the quality of life and the welfare of society.
Despite the many benefits arising from the open availability of research data and results, many data are not publicly accessible, or their release is delayed, for a variety of reasons. Data may be withheld because they are being used to generate a commercial product or service, because of confidentiality considerations, or because of national security concerns. Furthermore, in some fields it is acceptable for researchers to have a limited period of exclusivity in which the data are used only by the principal investigators and their immediate