The potential health benefits from sharing participant-level clinical research data for the purpose of secondary analysis or meta-analysis have been widely touted. Although some researchers remain wary about sharing data, recent policies and proposals by funders, scientific journals, research institutions, and international health organizations mean that data sharing, in one form or another, is inevitable. Now is therefore the time to focus on developing practices for data sharing that are effective, efficient, equitable, and ethical. In the process, we may need to question the assumption that more is better. Simply making more data openly available may not lead to analyses that are relevant and that are actually applied to improve health.
Link to access full article: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1605148