Responsible Practices for Data Sharing

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Abstract

Research transparency, reproducibility, and data sharing uphold core principles of science at a time when the integrity of scientific research is being questioned. This article discusses how research data in psychology can be made accessible for reproducibility and reanalysis by describing practical ways to overcome barriers to data sharing. We examine key issues surrounding the sharing of data such as who owns research data, how to protect the confidentiality of the research participant, how to give appropriate credit to the data creator, how to deal with metadata and codebooks, how to address provenance, and other specifics such as versioning and file formats. The protection of research subjects is a fundamental obligation, and we explain frameworks and procedures designed to protect against the harms that may result from disclosure of confidential information. We also advocate greater recognition for data creators and the authors of program code used in the management and analysis of data. We argue that research data and program code are important scientific contributions that should be cited in the same way as publications.

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