“Long-term availability of item-related data in PLOS ONE”


The article linked below was recently published by PLOS One.


Long-term availability of item-related data in PLOS ONE


Lisa Federer
National Institutes of Health


PLoS ONE 17(8): e0272845.
DO I: 10.1371/journal.pone.0272845


The adoption of review policies requiring authors to include a data availability statement has helped to increase the availability of research data associated with research articles. However, having a data availability statement does not guarantee that readers will be able to locate the data; even if provided with an identifier such as a uniform resource locator (URL) or digital object identifier (DOI), the data may become unavailable due to link rot and content drift. To explore the long-term availability of resources, including data, code, and other digital research objects associated with articles, this study extracted 8,503 URLs and DOIs from a corpus of nearly 50,000 availability statements. data from articles published in PLOS ONE between 2014 and 2016. These URLs and DOIs were used in an attempt to retrieve the data through automated and manual means. Overall, 80% of assets were able to be retrieved automatically, compared to the much lower 10-40% retrieval rates found in previous articles that relied on contacting authors to locate data. Since a URL or DOI may be valid but still not point to the resource, a subset of 350 URLs and 350 DOIs were tested manually, with 78% and 98% of the resources, respectively, successfully retrieved .

Having a DOI and being shared in a repository were both positively associated with availability. Although resources associated with older articles were slightly less likely to be available, this difference was not statistically significant, suggesting that URLs and DOIs may be an effective way to access data over time. . These findings highlight the value of including URLs and DOIs in data availability statements to ensure long-term data access.

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Filed Under: Data Files, Journal Articles, News, Open Access, PLOS

About Gary Price

Gary Price ([email protected]) is a librarian, writer, consultant and frequent speaker based in the Washington DC metro area. He received his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards, including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program Alumnus of the Year. From 2006 to 2009, he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ, an innovation research consultancy that supports enterprise product and business model teams with just-in-time fact finding and insight.


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