Many researchers were not compliant with their published data sharing statement: a mixed-methods study



      The objective of the study was to analyze researchers’ compliance with their data availability statement (DAS) from manuscripts published in open-access journals with the mandatory DAS.

      Study Design and Setting

      We analyzed all articles from 333 open-access journals published during January 2019 by BioMed Central. We categorized types of the DAS. We surveyed corresponding authors who wrote in the DAS that they would share the data. Consent to participate in the study was sought for all included manuscripts. After accessing raw data sets, we checked whether data were available in a way that enabled reanalysis.


      Of 3556 analyzed articles, 3416 contained the DAS. The most frequent DAS category (42%) indicated that the data sets are available on reasonable request. Among 1792 manuscripts in which the DAS indicated that authors are willing to share their data, 1669 (93%) authors either did not respond or declined to share their data with us. Among 254 (14%) of 1792 authors who responded to our query for data sharing, only 123 (6.8%) provided the requested data.


      Even when authors indicate in their manuscript that they will share data upon request, the compliance rate is the same as for authors who do not provide the DAS, suggesting that the DAS may not be sufficient to ensure data sharing.


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