Public trust in science can be boosted if major funding bodies adopt improved, standardized policies for data sharing and open access research, say the authors of a new report.
Containing contributions from a range of experienced authors – including from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), other external commentators and Ripeta itself – the report deals with issues of fostering public trust in science, and improving integrity in research through policies, data sharing, and open access practices.
It also includes a comparison of the policies and practices of five of the world’s major research funders.
Exclusive analysis by Ripeta in one section of the report compares the policies and practices of five major world funders: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the European Commission (EC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The analysis shows that although each of the funders have their own policies in place to support data sharing, there are discrepancies between those policies and how they translate into practice.
For example, the number of research papers published in open access (OA) journals varied greatly depending on the funder. The NIH (95%) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (93%) far outstripped the representation of OA publications of other funders, especially the NSFC (33%).
In addition to its detailed analysis of the five major funders, Ripeta found that with regard to 62 key funders worldwide: 71% of funders required data management plans; 68% of funders covered expenses of data management and sharing; 66% specifically mentioned data sharing repositories as a mechanism of making data publicly accessible; and 26% of policies mentioned how long data should be retained.
Locating funding agency policies proved to be particularly difficult, with many not surfacing through web searches. There was also significant policy variability between funding agencies, with many policies having differing requirements for implementation.
Utilizing Ripeta’s services, funders and government agencies have the ability to analyze and monitor compliance within established open science or data management and sharing policies, while also identifying areas of good institutional research practice.
The full report – The State of Trust & Integrity in Research: Perspectives on Data Sharing, Policies and Practice – can be found here.Click here to read the original press release.