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September 2004

Data Sharing and Duplication: Is There a Problem?

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004;158(9):931-932. doi:10.1001/archpedi.158.9.931

Despite concerns in some scientific fields, data sharing has come of age. In 1985, the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on National Statistics endorsed the goal of wide access to research data and proffered recommendations for how and when data should be shared.1 Nearly 2 decades later, after numerous similar reports,2-4 a clear mandate is emerging. The National Science Foundation,5 the National Institutes of Health,6 and numerous professional societies and scientific journals have all taken steps to encourage, if not require, research scientists to share their research data and materials with other scientists. Some questions remain, however, as scientists struggle to learn how to carry out this mandate in ways that are effective, efficient, and ethically sound.

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