7 steps to restore trust in science – step 6

  1. Communicate about the process of science as well as the content [previous post]
  2. Make research outputs available to all for free [previous post]
  3. Publish negative results and unsuccessful experiments too [previous post]
  4. Publish peer review comments with research outputs. [previous post]
  5. Attach a summary for non-experts to research outputs. [previous post]
  6. Make raw data available as early as possible. An essential feature of the scientific approach is repeating others’ work, either strengthening or calling into question their findings. To make this possible, all scientific reports are accompanied by detailed descriptions of the experimental methods used. But it has not been normal practice for researchers to make their raw data available. As science becomes more and more data rich this has to change. As well as a focus on how data has been generated, we also need to scrutinise the analysis of large and complex datasets. Re-analysis of data can reveal errors, confirm original findings and strengthen confidence, as a recent example illustrates. And the internet makes sharing data simple and almost cost free.
  7. Use new technology to open research conferences to all