PLOS Clarifies Data Policy

Following the publisher’s announcement of an updated policy for the sharing of data underlying its open-access publications, PLOS apologizes for the confusion.

Jef Akst
Jef Akst
Mar 11, 2014

WIKIMEDIA, PLOSThe open-access publisher PLOS announced in late January that it was updating its data sharing policy to require that authors submit a statement of where the data underlying their research results could be found at the time of publication. Over the past couple of weeks, science bloggers, most notably DrugMonkey, have criticized the move, claiming that the new requirements “will burn a lot of time and effort that could be more profitably applied to conducting and publishing more studies.”

Last Friday (March 8), Theodora Bloom, editorial director of PLOS Biology, published a clarification of the new policy on the PLOS ONE Community Blog, claiming that much of the criticism revolved around a simple misunderstanding regarding which data must be made available.

“In the previous post, and also on our site for PLOS ONE Academic Editors, an attempt to simplify our policy did not represent the...

“The problem seemed to have stemmed from how the policy was communicated, rather than what PLOS actually wanted to accomplish, which is better data sharing,” Ivan Oransky noted at Retraction Watch. “In a time when reproducibility is a growing concern, the latter is a must.”