Investigation of Data Sharing Attitudes in the Context of a Meta-Analysis PsychologyPublic HealthPublic PolicySSMART

Joshua Polanin 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 normalized, primary study authors are often unwilling to share IPD, even for use in meta-analyses. In this study, Joshua Polanin and Mary Terzian provide an explanation of why primary study authors are unwilling to share their data and evaluate whether sending a data-sharing agreement affects participants’ willingness to share IPD.

They sampled and surveyed more than 700 researchers whose studies had been included in recently published meta-analyses, splitting the sample into control and treatment groups and using a hypothetical data-sharing agreement as an intervention. Participants who received a data-sharing agreement were more willing to share their data set, compared with control participants, even after controlling for demographics and pretest values (d = 0.65, 95% CI [0.39, 0.90]). A member of the control group is 24 percent more likely to share her data set should she receive the data-sharing agreement

These findings shed light on data-sharing practices, attitudes, and concerns and can be used to inform future meta-analysis projects seeking to collect IPD, as well as the field at large.


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