Pressure on ICMJE?

6 Dec

I’m not at the International Digital Curation Conference this year. But in the pre-conference tweets I heard from one delegate that not only does the International Council for Medical Journal Editors not have a policy on data, but it has no plans to develop one in the near future:

“Don’t you think a Policy on Data Availability is a glaring omission from current ICMJE Uniform Requirements?” [@researchremix]

This got me thinking, and I wondered if the delegates to IDCC11 could combine to put pressure on ICMJE to change. Something like a joint letter, perhaps developed from the following:


We the undersigned, attending the IDCC11 Conference in Bristol and others, request ICMJE to develop policies for data in medical journals. We take it as certain that articles in medical journals should be based on evidence, and that the evidence should be able to be examined and used by others. The policies should include some or all of:

a) a policy on the simultaneous availability in machine-readable form of data underlying tables and graphs etc in articles;

b) a policy on making available datasets underlying findings in the article to qualified researchers;

c) a policy on the prior deposit of data underlying findings in the article in an appropriate data repository;

d) a policy on the appropriate ethical handling, anonymisation and disclosure on data that identifies individuals; and

e) a policy on the licences or conditions to be applied to all or any of the data described above, which where possible should be CC-BY or CC0 (plus appropriate licences for material where ethical considerations require).

[UPDATE: and f) a policy on citation of datasets…]

Yours etc

What do you think?


Comments always welcome, will be treated as CC-BY

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