Skip to main content


Showing posts from February, 2013

Making data sharing count

Consider a typical fMRI study:  Twenty participants scanned for an hour = 10000 USD. Research Assistant to run participants = 20000 USD. Postdoc to invent the study and write it up = 40000 USD. 70000 USD later science is richer by an eight page paper, peer reviewed and published in an academic journal. The authors might look at the data again some time later, maybe join it with some other of their dataset to improve power. Maybe. Or maybe they will not have time. We may never learn if there was anything more in the data (all 360 million datapoints of it) than what those eight pages described. Most scientists agree that sharing data makes sense and leads to better, more reproducible, transparent, and objective science. Funding agencies (the guys who turn your taxes into academic papers) understand how expensive data collection is and want to squeeze as much as possible out of existing data. But the perspective of an individual scientist is different. Sharing data does not co