Troubleshooting public data archiving: suggestions to increase participation

PLoS Biol. 2014 Jan 28;12(1):e1001779. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001779. eCollection 2014 Jan.


An increasing number of publishers and funding agencies require public data archiving (PDA) in open-access databases. PDA has obvious group benefits for the scientific community, but many researchers are reluctant to share their data publicly because of real or perceived individual costs. Improving participation in PDA will require lowering costs and/or increasing benefits for primary data collectors. Small, simple changes can enhance existing measures to ensure that more scientific data are properly archived and made publicly available: (1) facilitate more flexible embargoes on archived data, (2) encourage communication between data generators and re-users, (3) disclose data re-use ethics, and (4) encourage increased recognition of publicly archived data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Communication Barriers
  • Communication*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Databases, Factual
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination / ethics*

Grant support

The Australian National University, The Australian Research Council, and The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.