Science Without Open Data Isn't Science

Science Without Open Data Isn’t Science

Science Without Open Data Isn’t Science

A new position paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has generated a lot of controversy among some scientists: Toward Fairness in Data Sharing. It’s not hard to see why: the piece criticizes the concept of data sharing in the context of clinical trials. Data sharing is the much-discussed idea that researchers should make their raw data available to anyone who wants to access it. While the NEJM piece is specifically framed as a rebuttal to this recent pro-data sharing NEJM article, the arguments advanced apply to science more generally.

There is a strong prima facie case that raw scientific data should be made freely available. It is widely recognized that nullius in verba –“on the word of no-one” or “take no-one’s word for it” – is one of the fundamental principles of the scientific endeavor. Scientists do not believe something just because it someone (or even everyone) claims that it is so. Evidence, not opinion, is what science is about.

Read Also:
Bad Data Costing Companies A Fortune

Without open data, a scientific paper is little more than a statement that, in the author’s opinion, some evidence supports a certain set of claims. Without access to the raw data, a reader of a paper has no way of checking whether the results really do support the conclusions of the paper. So, without access to the raw data, the reader is asked to take the results essentially on faith.

It might be said that nullius in verba is an impossible standard.

 



Chief Analytics Officer Spring 2017

2
May
2017
Chief Analytics Officer Spring 2017

15% off with code MP15

Read Also:
Big Data Tamps Down HIV Outbreaks

Big Data and Analytics for Healthcare Philadelphia

17
May
2017
Big Data and Analytics for Healthcare Philadelphia

$200 off with code DATA200

Read Also:
Big data and its developer fallout

SMX London

23
May
2017
SMX London

10% off with code 7WDATASMX

Read Also:
When Big Data, IoT and Geospatial Technology Collide

Data Science Congress 2017

5
Jun
2017
Data Science Congress 2017

20% off with code 7wdata_DSC2017

Read Also:
Two critical data challenges and how to overcome them
Read Also:
Bad Data Costing Companies A Fortune

AI Paris

6
Jun
2017
AI Paris

20% off with code AIP17-7WDATA-20

Read Also:
A modernized approach to data lake management

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *