PLOS’s open data fever dream

I wanted to bring attention to this post on the fear’s of PLOS’s new open data policy from the blog of a neuroscience researcher. It addresses many of the concerns from the scientific research community concerning sharing data, and also highlights several ways that libraries can contribute. I encourage you to read through the comments section to learn more about additional (and innovative) ways researchers are working towards meeting this requirement. The PLOS policy is only the beginning, as many other requirements  will begin to emerge in the near future – including government mandates.

The publisher of the largest scientific journal in the world, PLOS, recently announced that all data relevant to every paper must be accessible in a stable repository, with a DOI and everything. Some discussion of this is going on over at Drugmonkey, and this is a comment that got out of hand, so I posted it here instead.

What is the purpose of this policy? I don’t see how anyone could be fooled into thinking this could somehow help eliminate fraud. Fraud is about intent to deceive, and one can deceive with a selective dataset as easily (or, actually, much more easily) than with Photoshop.

What else? Well, you could comb through the data of that pesky competitor or some other closely related work, looking for mistakes or things they missed that you could take advantage of. Frankly, I can’t imagine bothering. I mean, how could you not have…

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