Data sharing is the remedy

It has been argued that scientists have an ethical and scientific imperative to share data collected through their research. The benefits of increasing public access to data from research activity are well described. Data sharing maximises transparency and public accountability, increasing the quality of research and reducing researcher burden.

Sharing data from original research encourages repurposing and exploration of new lines of inquiry, can support greater output and reduces waste. As such, calls for data sharing have come from a range of international organisations and research funders. The sharing of clinical trial data is also increasingly a requirement for publication in many high-impact medical journals such as The BMJ and The Lancet.

While calls for greater data sharing have focused on clinical trials, there may be similar advantages to sharing data collected as part of systematic reviews…. Each review process generates individual pieces of data – ranging from search strategies, lists of eligible studies, details on study characteristics, data used for analysis and risk of bias assessments and summaries of evidence. Each of these processes, requiring considerable time and resources to complete, produces data that could be applied to generate new knowledge.

This manuscript aims to describe broad application of open sources of systematic review data, outlines potential barriers to sharing of data and highlights efforts that have been made to address these challenges to date.

From ‘The Benefits of Data Sharing and Ensuring Open Sources of Systematic Review Data’, Journal of Public Health


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