Willingness to share research data is related to the strength of the evidence and the quality of reporting of statistical results

J.M. Wicherts, M. Bakker, D. Molenaar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The widespread reluctance to share published research data is often hypothesized to be due to the authors' fear that reanalysis may expose errors in their work or may produce conclusions that contradict their own. However, these hypotheses have not previously been studied systematically.

METHODS AND FINDINGS:

We related the reluctance to share research data for reanalysis to 1148 statistically significant results reported in 49 papers published in two major psychology journals. We found the reluctance to share data to be associated with weaker evidence (against the null hypothesis of no effect) and a higher prevalence of apparent errors in the reporting of statistical results. The unwillingness to share data was particularly clear when reporting errors had a bearing on statistical significance.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings on the basis of psychological papers suggest that statistical results are particularly hard to verify when reanalysis is more likely to lead to contrasting conclusions. This highlights the importance of establishing mandatory data archiving policies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere26828
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume6
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Humans
  • Research

Cite this

@article{b3ea8744e51046adbe484d4fd0c691dd,
title = "Willingness to share research data is related to the strength of the evidence and the quality of reporting of statistical results",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: The widespread reluctance to share published research data is often hypothesized to be due to the authors' fear that reanalysis may expose errors in their work or may produce conclusions that contradict their own. However, these hypotheses have not previously been studied systematically.METHODS AND FINDINGS: We related the reluctance to share research data for reanalysis to 1148 statistically significant results reported in 49 papers published in two major psychology journals. We found the reluctance to share data to be associated with weaker evidence (against the null hypothesis of no effect) and a higher prevalence of apparent errors in the reporting of statistical results. The unwillingness to share data was particularly clear when reporting errors had a bearing on statistical significance.CONCLUSIONS: Our findings on the basis of psychological papers suggest that statistical results are particularly hard to verify when reanalysis is more likely to lead to contrasting conclusions. This highlights the importance of establishing mandatory data archiving policies.",
keywords = "Cooperative Behavior, Humans, Research",
author = "J.M. Wicherts and M. Bakker and D. Molenaar",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0026828",
language = "English",
volume = "6",
journal = "PLoS ONE",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE",
number = "11",

}

Willingness to share research data is related to the strength of the evidence and the quality of reporting of statistical results. / Wicherts, J.M.; Bakker, M.; Molenaar, D.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 6, No. 11, e26828, 2011.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Willingness to share research data is related to the strength of the evidence and the quality of reporting of statistical results

AU - Wicherts, J.M.

AU - Bakker, M.

AU - Molenaar, D.

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - BACKGROUND: The widespread reluctance to share published research data is often hypothesized to be due to the authors' fear that reanalysis may expose errors in their work or may produce conclusions that contradict their own. However, these hypotheses have not previously been studied systematically.METHODS AND FINDINGS: We related the reluctance to share research data for reanalysis to 1148 statistically significant results reported in 49 papers published in two major psychology journals. We found the reluctance to share data to be associated with weaker evidence (against the null hypothesis of no effect) and a higher prevalence of apparent errors in the reporting of statistical results. The unwillingness to share data was particularly clear when reporting errors had a bearing on statistical significance.CONCLUSIONS: Our findings on the basis of psychological papers suggest that statistical results are particularly hard to verify when reanalysis is more likely to lead to contrasting conclusions. This highlights the importance of establishing mandatory data archiving policies.

AB - BACKGROUND: The widespread reluctance to share published research data is often hypothesized to be due to the authors' fear that reanalysis may expose errors in their work or may produce conclusions that contradict their own. However, these hypotheses have not previously been studied systematically.METHODS AND FINDINGS: We related the reluctance to share research data for reanalysis to 1148 statistically significant results reported in 49 papers published in two major psychology journals. We found the reluctance to share data to be associated with weaker evidence (against the null hypothesis of no effect) and a higher prevalence of apparent errors in the reporting of statistical results. The unwillingness to share data was particularly clear when reporting errors had a bearing on statistical significance.CONCLUSIONS: Our findings on the basis of psychological papers suggest that statistical results are particularly hard to verify when reanalysis is more likely to lead to contrasting conclusions. This highlights the importance of establishing mandatory data archiving policies.

KW - Cooperative Behavior

KW - Humans

KW - Research

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0026828

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0026828

M3 - Article

VL - 6

JO - PLoS ONE

JF - PLoS ONE

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 11

M1 - e26828

ER -