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13-09-2017 | Editorial | Uitgave 12/2017

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 12/2017

Data Sharing Mandates, Developmental Science, and Responsibly Supporting Authors

Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 12/2017
Roger J. R. Levesque


Data sharing has come of age. Long expected as a professional courtesy but rarely honored, data sharing is now highlighted in codes of ethics, supported by research communities, required by leading funding organizations, and variously encouraged and mandated by journals and even publishers. These developments reveal how sharing generates many benefits, all of which go to the integrity of the scientific process. Yet, sharing remains a complex phenomenon. This Editorial explains the journal’s response to the publisher’s mandate to establish an appropriate data sharing policy for the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. It describes the need to balance the benefits of sharing with its costs for authors publishing in multidisciplinary, developmental science journals like this one. For this journal and at this time, that balance leads us to err on the side of caution, which means supporting those who created their data and not coercing public sharing as a condition for publishing. This approach recognizes authors’ reliance on a wide variety of data, the needs of differentially situated authors, the requirements of robust peer review, and the potential harms that can come from editors’ unilateral sharing mandates.

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