Benefits of data sharing

Sharing research data has become a key priority in most disciplines of science, with increasing emphasis from international institutions, funders and journals.

Credit: Ana Ferreira, DNDi
Credit: Ana Ferreira, DNDi

IDDO encourages and facilitates collaborative data sharing practices, and pioneered an approach to data sharing that involves researchers who contribute data in the analysis of pooled data sets.

This approach has multiple advantages for data contributors, including saving time and resources, ensuring long-term and secure data storage, meeting the data sharing requirements of funders and journals, maximising research output and visibility. In addition to improving public health outputs, data sharing helps researchers to become part of a larger and richer scientific community.

 Other benefits include:

  • Maximising the utility and impact of the data collected for research makes best use of the significant contributions made by trial participants, and ultimately contributes to improving public health.
  • Reusing existing data for secondary analyses addresses gaps in knowledge without enrolling more patients, thus reducing overall patient risk.
  • Pooling data can increase the strength of evidence relating to populations underserved by research, such as children, pregnant women and patients with comorbidities. Data can be combined to maximise statistical power in meta-analyses and used to explore questions that can’t be answered by individual trials, such as variable sub-population responses, regional diversity or changes over time.