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Effect of data sharing policies

In the SACEMA Quarterly of March 2015 a very interesting article was published on the influence of data sharing policies. As a researcher I had not realised the impact of these policies and therefore I want to share a summary of the article here with you.

Scientists offering papers for publication are becoming increasingly aware of a significant change in the attitude of journals to the publication of the data used to reach conclusions drawn in their manuscript.  New regulations are moving rapidly and uncompromisingly towards a policy where all of the data, and related metadata, required to replicate the reported findings must be made freely available to the world at large. There is much to be said in favour of this argument, but one wonders whether journals have thought through some of the ramifications of the new policy.

John Hargrove, consultant at SACEMA, in his editorial makes clear that although the intentions of the data sharing policies are good, they are often poorly/incompletely thought out. Hence these policies can have serious negative consequences for you as an individual researcher e.g. misinterpretation of your original data; damaging your scientific credibility; losing options to produce multiple papers on your own data.

You can read John's full contribution here and you are welcome to start the discussion about this topic.


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Africa Health News is a new website that brings together health news, events and career opportunities from African countries. Monthly updates are send out to a large group of interested subscribers. I started this website in the beginning of 2016 and Emily Christopher, Megan Harker and Steven Nonde are currently writing articles for it.

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