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Availability of Research Data in High-Impact Addiction Journals with Data Sharing Policies


Although data sharing is one of the primary measures proposed to improve the integrity and quality of published research, studies show it remains the exception not the rule. The current study examines the availability of data in papers reporting the results of analyses of empirical data from original research in high-impact addiction journals. Thirteen high-impact journals with data sharing policies were selected from those included in the substance abuse category of the 2018 Clarivate Analytics’ Journal Citation Report. The first 10 full or short original research reports that included empirical data in the most recent complete issue of each journal were electronically searched and reviewed for reference to where their data can be obtained and for a formal data sharing statement. Only eight of the 130 papers contained a data sharing statement in their text or supplementary online materials, and just one contained a direct link to the data analyzed. Data sharing was rare in the 13 high-impact addiction journals reviewed. The nature of the data reported in addiction journals might partly explain this. Currently, data sharing is not a procedure likely to improve the quality and integrity of published addiction research.

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Availability of Data

These are contained in the following supporting documents: Appendix S1: Starting Point for Identifying 10 Research Articles from Each of the 12 Journals (Obtained from Journal Websites via Texas A&M University Library on November 26 to November 27, 2018 and February 22, 2019); Appendix S2: Included and Excluded Papers; Appendix S3: Journal Data Sharing Policy (Obtained from Journal Websites on October 9, 2018 to January 23, 2019).


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DMG designed the study, collected the data, summarized these, and wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to Dennis M. Gorman.

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Gorman, D.M. Availability of Research Data in High-Impact Addiction Journals with Data Sharing Policies. Sci Eng Ethics 26, 1625–1632 (2020).

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  • Data sharing
  • Research integrity
  • High-impact addiction journals
  • Research transparency