International medical journals speak out on data sharing

International medical journals speak out on data sharing

Leading international medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, and JAMA, have put forward proposals for how data sharing might be managed in practice. The aim is to enable access to deidentified individual-patient data from clinical studies for the purposes of further scientific analysis and the verification of results. Until now, other scientists have only been able to use these data with permission from the authors and sponsors of the studies. 

However, partly due to problems in the past with suppressed results of large clinical studies, the calls for mandatory provision of access to primary data available are becoming ever louder. Now the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, ICJME, a working group of 14 general medical journals from around the world—Deutsches Ärzteblatt is the German member—has also spoken out in favor of data sharing. 

In an editorial published on 20 January, these journals lay out the rationale for this step and put forward the first proposals for provision of access to primary results. In specific terms, these relate to the rules for the authors of primary studies submitted for publication in ICMJE journals. However, they also refer to the conditions needed to enable data sharing to take place and the principles to be observed by the authors of the secondary analyses. The ICJME welcomes feedback on these proposals, for example from researchers, study sponsors, and institutional ethical boards. Anyone interested can leave comments at www.icmje.org until 18 April.
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Deutsches Ärzteblatt international

Deutsches Ärzteblatt international

Deutsches Ärzteblatt International—the German Medical Association’s official international bilingual science journal—is a weekly, peer-reviewed, open-access online journal of clinical medicine and public health.

Deutsches Ärzteblatt International is indexed in

MEDLINE, PubMed, PubMed Central, Science Citation Index, Web of Knowledge, EMBASE, Scopus, PsycINFO, and CINAHL.

The current impact factor is 3.738 (JCR 2015).