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Title: The Availability of Research Data Declines Rapidly with Article Age
Contributor(s): Vines, Timothy H (author); Albert, Arianne Y K (author); Andrew, Rose  (author)orcid ; Debarre, Florence (author); Bock, Dan G (author); Franklin, Michelle T (author); Gilbert, Kimberly J (author); Moore, Jean-Sebastien (author); Renaut, Sebastien (author); Rennison, Diana J (author)
Publication Date: 2014
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.11.014Open Access Link
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Abstract: Policies ensuring that research data are available on public archives are increasingly being implemented at the government, funding agency, and journal level. These policies are predicated on the idea that authors are poor stewards of their data, particularly over the long term, and indeed many studies have found that authors are often unable or unwilling to share their data. However, there are no systematic estimates of how the availability of research data changes with time since publication. We therefore requested data sets from a relatively homogenous set of 516 articles published between 2 and 22 years ago, and found that availability of the data was strongly affected by article age. For papers where the authors gave the status of their data, the odds of a data set being extant fell by 17% per year. In addition, the odds that we could find a working e-mail address for the first, last, or corresponding author fell by 7% per year. Our results reinforce the notion that, in the long term, research data cannot be reliably preserved by individual researchers, and further demonstrate the urgent need for policies mandating data sharing via public archives.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Current Biology, 24(1), p. 94-97
Publisher: Cell Press
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 0960-9822
Field of Research (FOR): 060305 Evolution of Developmental Systems
060504 Microbial Ecology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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