Many efforts are underway to promote data sharing in psychology, however it is currently unclear if the in-principle benefits of data availability are being realized in practice. In a recent study, we found that a mandatory open data policy introduced at the journal Cognition led to a substantial increase in available data, but a considerable portion of this data was not reusable. For data to be reusable, it needs to be clearly structured and well-documented. Open data alone will not be enough to achieve the benefits envisioned by proponents of data sharing.
An extensive and ongoing attrition of the modern scholarly record is impeding a number of important research activities that support verification, discovery, and evidence synthesis. Recently, we launched the Data Ark initiative – an attempt to retrieve, preserve, and liberate important scientific data. However, most of our data requests were not successful. How can we ensure the longevity and accessibility of important research artifacts?