Data sharing in PLOS ONE: An analysis of Data Availability Statements

Authors : Lisa M. Federer, Christopher W. Belter, Douglas J. Joubert, Alicia Livinski, Ya-Ling Lu, Lissa N. Snyders, Holly Thompson

A number of publishers and funders, including PLOS, have recently adopted policies requiring researchers to share the data underlying their results and publications. Such policies help increase the reproducibility of the published literature, as well as make a larger body of data available for reuse and re-analysis.

In this study, we evaluate the extent to which authors have complied with this policy by analyzing Data Availability Statements from 47,593 papers published in PLOS ONE between March 2014 (when the policy went into effect) and May 2016.

Our analysis shows that compliance with the policy has increased, with a significant decline over time in papers that did not include a Data Availability Statement. However, only about 20% of statements indicate that data are deposited in a repository, which the PLOS policy states is the preferred method.

More commonly, authors state that their data are in the paper itself or in the supplemental information, though it is unclear whether these data meet the level of sharing required in the PLOS policy.

These findings suggest that additional review of Data Availability Statements or more stringent policies may be needed to increase data sharing.

URL : Data sharing in PLOS ONE: An analysis of Data Availability Statements

DOI : https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0194768

The State of Assessing Data Stewardship Maturity – An Overview

Author : Ge Peng

Data stewardship encompasses all activities that preserve and improve the information content, accessibility, and usability of data and metadata. Recent regulations, mandates, policies, and guidelines set forth by the U.S. government, federal other, and funding agencies, scientific societies and scholarly publishers, have levied stewardship requirements on digital scientific data.

This elevated level of requirements has increased the need for a formal approach to stewardship activities that supports compliance verification and reporting. Meeting or verifying compliance with stewardship requirements requires assessing the current state, identifying gaps, and, if necessary, defining a roadmap for improvement.

This, however, touches on standards and best practices in multiple knowledge domains. Therefore, data stewardship practitioners, especially these at data repositories or data service centers or associated with data stewardship programs, can benefit from knowledge of existing maturity assessment models.

This article provides an overview of the current state of assessing stewardship maturity for federally funded digital scientific data. A brief description of existing maturity assessment models and related application(s) is provided.

This helps stewardship practitioners to readily obtain basic information about these models. It allows them to evaluate each model’s suitability for their unique verification and improvement needs.

URL : The State of Assessing Data Stewardship Maturity – An Overview

DOI : http://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2018-007

Data Sustainability and Reuse Pathways of Natural Resources and Environmental Scientists

Author : Yi Shen

This paper presents a multifarious examination of natural resources and environmental scientists’ adventures navigating the policy change towards open access and cultural shift in data management, sharing, and reuse.

Situated in the institutional context of Virginia Tech, a focus group and multiple individual interviews were conducted exploring the domain scientists’ all-around experiences, performances, and perspectives on their collection, adoption, integration, preservation, and management of data.

The results reveal the scientists’ struggles, concerns, and barriers encountered, as well as their shared values, beliefs, passions, and aspirations when working with data. Based on these findings, this study provides suggestions on data modeling and knowledge representation strategies to support the long-term viability, stewardship, accessibility, and sustainability of scientific data.

It also discusses the art of curation as creative scholarship and new opportunities for data librarians and information professionals to mobilize the data revolution.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1803.01788

Data sharing and reanalysis of randomized controlled trials in leading biomedical journals with a full data sharing policy: survey of studies published in The BMJ and PLOS Medicine

Authors : Florian Naudet, Charlotte Sakarovitch, Perrine Janiaud, Ioana Cristea, Daniele Fanelli, David Moher, John P A Ioannidis

Objectives

To explore the effectiveness of data sharing by randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in journals with a full data sharing policy and to describe potential difficulties encountered in the process of performing reanalyses of the primary outcomes.

Design

Survey of published RCTs.

Setting

PubMed/Medline.

Eligibility criteria

RCTs that had been submitted and published by The BMJ and PLOS Medicine subsequent to the adoption of data sharing policies by these journals.

Main outcome measure

The primary outcome was data availability, defined as the eventual receipt of complete data with clear labelling. Primary outcomes were reanalyzed to assess to what extent studies were reproduced. Difficulties encountered were described.

Results

37 RCTs (21 from The BMJ and 16 from PLOS Medicine) published between 2013 and 2016 met the eligibility criteria. 17/37 (46%, 95% confidence interval 30% to 62%) satisfied the definition of data availability and 14 of the 17 (82%, 59% to 94%) were fully reproduced on all their primary outcomes. Of the remaining RCTs, errors were identified in two but reached similar conclusions and one paper did not provide enough information in the Methods section to reproduce the analyses. Difficulties identified included problems in contacting corresponding authors and lack of resources on their behalf in preparing the datasets. In addition, there was a range of different data sharing practices across study groups.

Conclusions

Data availability was not optimal in two journals with a strong policy for data sharing. When investigators shared data, most reanalyses largely reproduced the original results. Data sharing practices need to become more widespread and streamlined to allow meaningful reanalyses and reuse of data.

 

Recommendations to Improve Downloads of Large Earth Observation Data

Authors : Rahul Ramachandran, Christopher Lynnes, Kathleen Baynes, Kevin Murphy, Jamie Baker, Jamie Kinney, Ariel Gold, Jed Sundwall, Mark Korver, Allison Lieber, William Vambenepe, Matthew Hancher,  Rebecca Moore, Tyler Erickson, Josh Henretig,
Brant Zwiefel, Heather Patrick-Ahlstrom, Matthew J. Smith

With the volume of Earth observation data expanding rapidly, cloud computing is quickly changing the way these data are processed, analyzed, and visualized. Collocating freely available Earth observation data on a cloud computing infrastructure may create opportunities unforeseen by the original data provider for innovation and value-added data re-use, but existing systems at data centers are not designed for supporting requests for large data transfers.

A lack of common methodology necessitates that each data center handle such requests from different cloud vendors differently. Guidelines are needed to support enabling all cloud vendors to utilize a common methodology for bulk-downloading data from data centers, thus preventing the providers from building custom capabilities to meet the needs of individual vendors.

This paper presents recommendations distilled from use cases provided by three cloud vendors (Amazon, Google, and Microsoft) and are based on the vendors’ interactions with data systems at different Federal agencies and organizations.

These specific recommendations range from obvious steps for improving data usability (such as ensuring the use of standard data formats and commonly supported projections) to non-obvious undertakings important for enabling bulk data downloads at scale.

These recommendations can be used to evaluate and improve existing data systems for high-volume data transfers, and their adoption can lead to cloud vendors utilizing a common methodology.

URL : Recommendations to Improve Downloads of Large Earth Observation Data

DOI : http://doi.org/10.5334/dsj-2018-002

 

Data Sharing: Convert Challenges into Opportunities

Author : Ana Sofia Figueiredo

Initiatives for sharing research data are opportunities to increase the pace of knowledge discovery and scientific progress. The reuse of research data has the potential to avoid the duplication of data sets and to bring new views from multiple analysis of the same data set.

For example, the study of genomic variations associated with cancer profits from the universal collection of such data and helps in selecting the most appropriate therapy for a specific patient. However, data sharing poses challenges to the scientific community.

These challenges are of ethical, cultural, legal, financial, or technical nature. This article reviews the impact that data sharing has in science and society and presents guidelines to improve the efficient sharing of research data.

URL : Data Sharing: Convert Challenges into Opportunities

DOI : https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00327