Re-Blog: Who’s afraid of open data? (by Dorothy Bishop on the BishopBlog)

“Well, how would you like it if you had spent years of your life gathering data … and some person you have never heard comes out of nowhere demanding to have it?” Dorothy Bishop wrote a very interesting blog post about a conference chat about someone who was forced to work transparently. Here’s the first few paragraphs – do check out the full text:

I was at a small conference last year, catching up on gossip over drinks, and somehow the topic moved on to journals, and the pros and cons of publishing in different outlets. I was doing my best to advocate for open access, and to challenge the obsession with journal impact factors. I was getting the usual stuff about how early-career scientists couldn’t hope to have a career unless they had papers in Nature and Science, but then the conversation took an interesting turn.

“Anyhow,” said eminent Professor X. “One of my postdocs had a really bad experience with a PLOS journal.”

Everyone was agog. Nothing better at conference drinks than a new twist on the story of evil reviewer 3. We waited for him to continue. But the problem was not with the reviewers.

“Yup. She published this paper in PLOS Biology, and of course she signed all their forms. She then gave a talk about the study, and there was this man in the audience, someone from a poky little university that nobody had ever heard of, who started challenging her conclusions. She debated with him, but then, when she gets back she has an email from him asking for her data.”

We wait with bated breath for the next revelation.

“Well, she refused of course, but then this despicable person wrote to the journal, and they told her that she had to give it to him! It was in the papers she had signed.”

Murmurs of sympathy from those gathered round. Except, of course, me. I just waited for the denouement. What had happened next, I asked.

Read more on Dorothy Bishop’s blog.

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