Funders' data sharing policies in therapeutic research
“Funders’ data-sharing policies in therapeutic research: a survey of commercial and non-commercial funders” is the new article, from the Reither project, published in Plos One.
What did we do?
To update previous audits on funders’ policies and attitudes toward data-sharing, we searched for information about data-sharing commitments published on the websites of selected commercial and non-commercial funders of clinical research, having funded at least one RCT during the years 2016 to 2018. Then, we checked whether these commitments are being met by reviewing the registration on Clinicaltrial.gov website of a sample of clinical trials funded by previously listed funders with a sharing policy.
What did we learn?
The performance of funders remains suboptimal in setting up and implementing data-sharing policies. The proportion of funders with a data-sharing policy has not dramatically improved and concerns raised by previous studies persist as heterogeneity in recommendations, lack of crucial information, the better performing of commitments by commercial funders compared to non-commercial ones.
What’s the conclusion?
These results show that the design and implementation of policies needs to be improved. We call for standardization of policies with a strong evaluation component to ensure that, when in place, these policies are effective.
Funders’ data-sharing initiatives should help gather evidence of the value of data-sharing.
As part of the ReiTheR project, we will make suggestions, regarding data-sharing initiatives, such as the implementation of sharing policies, to achieve their goals.