Jeremy Freese makes the case for data sharing as a condition of publication for quantitative research in sociology, and Gary King tells us of a Dataverse Network under construction that is designed to routinize the process of posting and storing such data sets. No matter how user-friendly that network turns out to be, it is clear that no system is entirely cost-free, either for researchers or for journal editors. It is important, then, to determine whether the benefits of mandatory data sharing(or “data relinquishment,” as Herrnson calls it) would outweigh the costs. In this comment, the author discusses the issue from his vantage point as a former editor and concludes that the benefits of such a requirement most likely would exceed the costs.
Key Words: data dredging • data sharing • peer review • replication • transparency in science • verification