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Introducing the PLOS Open Data Collection

By Daniella Lowenberg, Amy Ross, Emma Ganley


In the spirit of Open Con and highlighting the state of Open Data, PLOS is proud to release our Open Data Collection. The many values of Open Data are becoming increasingly apparent, and as a result, we are seeing an adoption of Open Data policies across publishers, funders and organizations. Open Data has proven a fantastic tool to help evaluate the replicability of published research, and even politicians are taking a stand in favor of Open Data as a mechanism to advance science rapidly. In March of 2014, PLOS updated our Data Policy to reflect the need for the underlying data to be as open as the paper itself resulting in complete transparency of the research. Two and-a-half years later, we have seen over 60,000 published papers with open data sets and an increase in submissions reflecting open data practices and policies.

KamiPhuc, flickr
KamiPhuc, flickr

To create this Open Data Collection, we exhaustively searched for relevant articles published across PLOS that discuss open data in some way. Then, in collaboration with our external advisor, Melissa Haendel, we have selected 26 of those articles with the aim to highlight a broad scope of research articles, guidelines, and commentaries about data sharing, data practices, and data policies from different research fields. Melissa has written an engaging blog post detailing the rubric and reasons behind her selections.

The collection represents a medley of content, some of which has profoundly influenced how the wider community–both big players and small–consider their data. It also represents a useful resource for researchers and policy makers, providing support for the continued goal to encourage data sharing in research communities and therefore maximize the impact of research. The Collection will be updated regularly with the latest relevant published research and non-research content. We encourage researchers, funders, and editors to use and share this open-access collection.

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