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Issues and Recommendations INTRODUCTION Data are the building blocks of empirical research, whether in the behavioral, social, biological, or physical sciences. To understand fully and extend the work of others, researchers often require access to the data on which that work is based. Yet many members of the scientific community are reluctant or un- willing to share their data even after publication of analyses of them. Sometimes this unwillingness results from the conditions under which data were gathered; sometimes it results from a desire to carry out further analyses before others do; and sometimes it results from the anticipated costs, in time or money or both. She Committee on National Statistics believes blat sharing scientific data with colleagues reinforces the practice of open scientific inquiry. Cognizant of the often substantial costs to the original investigator for sharing data, the committee seeks to foster attitudes and practices within the scientific com- munity that encourage researchers to share data with others as much as feasi- ble. Some examples illustrate the benefits, problems, controversies, and other consequences of sharing research data. 3