Data sharing in psychology

Am Psychol. 2018 Feb-Mar;73(2):111-125. doi: 10.1037/amp0000242.


Routine data sharing, defined here as the publication of the primary data and any supporting materials required to interpret the data acquired as part of a research study, is still in its infancy in psychology, as in many domains. Nevertheless, with increased scrutiny on reproducibility and more funder mandates requiring sharing of data, the issues surrounding data sharing are moving beyond whether data sharing is a benefit or a bane to science, to what data should be shared and how. Here, we present an overview of these issues, specifically focusing on the sharing of so-called "long tail" data, that is, data generated by individual laboratories as part of largely hypothesis-driven research. We draw on experiences in other domains to discuss attitudes toward data sharing, cost-benefits, best practices and infrastructure. We argue that the publishing of data sets is an integral component of 21st-century scholarship. Moreover, although not all issues around how and what to share have been resolved, a consensus on principles and best practices for effective data sharing and the infrastructure for sharing many types of data are largely in place. (PsycINFO Database Record

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination / methods*
  • Psychology / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research*