Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How To Maintain The Integrity And Accessibility Of Research Data

Date:
July 23, 2009
Source:
National Academy of Sciences
Summary:
Though digital technologies and high-speed communications have significantly expanded the capabilities of scientists -- allowing them to analyze and share vast amounts of data -- these technologies are also raising difficult questions for researchers, institutions and journals.

Though digital technologies and high-speed communications have significantly expanded the capabilities of scientists -- allowing them to analyze and share vast amounts of data -- these technologies are also raising difficult questions for researchers, institutions, and journals. Because digital data can be manipulated more easily than other forms, they are particularly susceptible to distortion. Questions about how to maintain the data generated, who should have access, and who pays to store them can be controversial.

Maintaining the integrity and accessibility of research data in a rapidly evolving digital age will take the collective efforts of universities and other research institutions, journals, agencies, and individual scientists, says a new report from the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, which recommends principles to guide these stakeholders in generating, sharing, and maintaining scientific data.

Research institutions need to ensure that every investigator receives appropriate training in conducting research and managing data responsibly, the report says. And these institutions, along with professional societies, journals, and research sponsors, should develop and disseminate standards for ensuring the integrity of research data and update specific data-management guidelines to account for new technologies. After an investigation by the Journal of Cell Biology revealed that a significant number of images submitted to them had been inappropriately manipulated, for example, the journal issued guidelines on acceptable and unacceptable ways to alter images. Ultimately, though, researchers themselves are responsible for ensuring the integrity of their research data, said the committee that wrote the report.

The report recommends that researchers -- both publicly and privately funded -- make the data and methods underlying their reported results public in a timely manner, except in unusual cases where there is a compelling reason not to do so, such as concern about national security or health privacy. In such cases, researchers should publicly explain why data are being withheld. But the default position should be that data will be shared -- a practice that allows data and conclusions to be verified, contributes to further scientific advances, and allows the development of beneficial goods and services.

Research data can be valuable for many years after they are generated -- for verifying results and generating new findings -- but maintaining high-quality and reliable databases can be costly, the report observes. Researchers should establish data-management plans at the beginning of each research project that provide for the stewardship of data, and research sponsors should recognize that financial support for data professionals is an appropriate part of supporting research. Professional societies should provide investigators with guidance about which data should be saved for the long term and which can be discarded.

The report was sponsored by the National Research Council, U.S. Department of Agriculture, NASA, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Energy, Eli Lilly and Co., Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Nature Publishing Group, the Rockefeller University Press, New England Journal of Medicine, American Chemical Society, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, and IEEE. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies. They are independent, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under an 1863 congressional charter.

The full report, Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age, can be purchased.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Academy of Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Academy of Sciences. "How To Maintain The Integrity And Accessibility Of Research Data." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090722120830.htm>.
National Academy of Sciences. (2009, July 23). How To Maintain The Integrity And Accessibility Of Research Data. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090722120830.htm
National Academy of Sciences. "How To Maintain The Integrity And Accessibility Of Research Data." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090722120830.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Oops! Microsoft Hints At Windows 9 Launch, Rumors Abound

Oops! Microsoft Hints At Windows 9 Launch, Rumors Abound

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) Microsoft's Chinese offices may have just named and set a rough date for the company's next operating system, Windows 9. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Teases India Event, Possible Android One Reveal

Google Teases India Event, Possible Android One Reveal

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) Google has announced a Sept. 15 event in India during which they're expected to reveal their Android One phones. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Self-Driving Car Still Has Many Flaws

Google's Self-Driving Car Still Has Many Flaws

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) You've seen a lot of Google's self-driving car, but that doesn't mean it's coming soon. A new report says the vehicle is nowhere near road ready. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple's Rumored iWatch Could Cost $400

Apple's Rumored iWatch Could Cost $400

Newsy (Aug. 31, 2014) Apple is expected to charge a premium for its still-rumored wearable device. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins