Data-sharing is often much easier said than done. In the past, researchers created large and valuable databases which would often languish on the university’s server fading into oblivion after the particular post-doc or graduate student who created it had moved on. It has actually been shown that for the field of ecology, the likelihood of accessing data ever again decreases by 17% every year.
While that study is specific to a particular field, I can imagine some level of data loss in every field. Even if data was described in a publication, there is no easy way for an outside researcher to access it, or even know if that particular data would be useful in their new study. The times they are a-changing. Continue reading