Investigation of Data Sharing Attitudes in the Context of a Meta-Analysis PsychologySSMART

Joshua R. Polanin and Mary Terzian

Sharing individual participant data (IPD) among researchers, upon request, is an ethical and responsible practice. Despite numerous calls for this practice to be standard, however, research indicates that primary study authors are often unwilling to share IPD, even for use in a meta-analysis. The purpose of this project is to understand the reasons why primary study authors are unwilling to share their data and to investigate whether sending a data-sharing agreement, in the context of updating a meta-analysis, affects participants’ willingness to share IPD. Our project corresponds to the third research question asked in the proposal: Why do some researchers adopt transparent research practices, but not others? To investigate these issues, we plan to sample and survey at least 700 researchers whose studies have been included in recently published meta-analyses. The survey will ask participants about their attitudes on data sharing. Half of the participants will receive a hypothetical data-sharing agreement, half of the participants will not, and we will compare their attitudes toward data sharing after distributing the agreement. The results of this project will inform future meta-analysis projects seeking to collect IPD and will inform the community about data-sharing practices and barriers in general.