Data sharing using internet: A suggestion
B R Eapen
Dept. of Dermatology, Sri Ramchandra Medical College, Porur, Chennai - 16
|How to cite this article:
Eapen B R. Data sharing using internet: A suggestion. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2003;69:194
To the editor:
I read with interest the letter ′pending articles at IJDVL: a novel solution with interest. Most of the journals now have their own wed sites. We even have an indexed online journal.
Since Internet content can be quickly updated and searched, it can definitely compliment the paperback edition. Another limitation of paperback edition is space restriction. It is impossible to provide the entire data collected during the course of the study, in the article.
This limitation can be easily tackled by Internet, though even the international sites have not yet started doing so. IJDVL can become the first journal to implement a new data-sharing model.
Authors can be instructed to send the raw data in any convenient format (MS Excel, MS Access or DBASE) along with the article. Authors can also be asked to give full rights for the data to the publisher. This can be made available for download along with the article from the web site.
This has got the following advantages.
i. It increases the credibility of the study.
ii. Any mistake made in the statistical analysis can also be issessed easily.
ii. Meta analysis of various studies can be carried out using he latest data mining techniques and broad inferences can be made, which may not be evident from individual studies.
iv. Comparative studies can be carried out easily.
It should be clearly stated that any personal data inking to a particular individual should be avoided. It should JIso be mentioned that any study that utilizes the data from he journal site should acknowledge the journal and the 5uthor.
The advantage of sharing data was first realized by the bioinformaticians and now genomic data is widely available in the net for the research community. We can ilso follow their example. Once a beginning is made, I am sure, more concrete protocols will emerge, which will make data exchange easier and worthwhile.