Would you share your results before publication?  That’s the question Jerry Thursby and colleagues set out to answer by surveying over 7,000 active faculty researchers. The results vary greatly by field, with social scientists and mathematicians being the most likely to disclose data.

The study goes into some detail as to why, and at what stage, researchers choose to share their work ahead of publication. An important part of that decision making process is context, particularly with respect to norms, competition, and commercial orientation.

The study looked at researchers from across nine different fields. You’ll be pleased to know that Biosciences are in there. Despite the frequent complaints that no one ever presents new data at conferences, we don’t actually do that badly compared to some other fields.

To share, or not to share? On the one hand, it’s great to validate your work with your peers and received helpful (well, mostly helpful) feedback; on the other hand there’s inevitably that one individual in every field who seems to make a career out of scooping people.

It’d be good to see a similar survey on the attitude, and motivating factors behind sharing of genomic data!

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