Steven L Shafer responds to Jeanne LenzerBMJ 2010; 340 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b3920 (Published 10 March 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:b3920
All rapid responses
Steven Shafer suggests one solution to authors losing their data is
to make one author (The "Archival Author") responsible for safeguarding
the integrity of raw data.
There is a better way. We have made considerable strides in improving
transparency in research through disclosure in trial registries. Part of
that effort relates to the deposition of results. (1) It would be in the
public interest if all journals were to require authors submitting
manuscripts to also deposit their raw data to a repository. This would
prevent accidental loss of data, ensure its verifiability, allow for re-
analysis where appropriate and protect authors against suggestions of
breaches of research integrity.
The question of who data belongs to is often asked. Research data
belongs to everyone. Data integrity is a matter for public concern and for
collective action to restore public confidence. (2) Organisations such as
ICMJE and COPE would do well to consider this as a moral duty.
1. Krleza-JeriÄ‡ K, Lemmens T. 7th revision of the Declaration of
Helsinki: good news for the transparency of clinical trials. Croat Med J.
2. Goodyear M. Free access to medical information: a moral right?
CMAJ. 2007 Jan 2;176(1):69
Competing interests: No competing interests