January 18, 2022

Research Article: “Data Sharing in PLOS ONE: An Analysis of Data Availability Statements”

The following article was recently published by PLOS ONE.

Data Sharing in PLOS ONE: An Analysis of Data Availability Statements


Lisa M. Federer
NIH Library

Christopher W. Belter
NIH Library

Douglas J. Joubert
NIH Library

Alicia Livinski
NIH Library

Ya-Ling Lu
NIH Library

Lissa N. Snyders
NIH Library

Holly Thompson
NIH Library


13(5): e0194768
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0194768

Final Data Set Available


A number of publishers and funders, including PLOS, have recently adopted policies requiring researchers to share the data underlying their results and publications. Such policies help increase the reproducibility of the published literature, as well as make a larger body of data available for reuse and re-analysis.

In this study, we evaluate the extent to which authors have complied with this policy by analyzing Data Availability Statements from 47,593 papers published in PLOS ONE between March 2014 (when the policy went into effect) and May 2016.

Our analysis shows that compliance with the policy has increased, with a significant decline over time in papers that did not include a Data Availability Statement. However, only about 20% of statements indicate that data are deposited in a repository, which the PLOS policy states is the preferred method. More commonly, authors state that their data are in the paper itself or in the supplemental information, though it is unclear whether these data meet the level of sharing required in the PLOS policy.

These findings suggest that additional review of Data Availability Statements or more stringent policies may be needed to increase data sharing.

Direct to Full Text Article

See Also: The Hidden Gems of Data Accessibility Statements (via PLOS Blogs)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.