In this article, the authors analysed researchers’ compliance with their Data Availability Statement (DAS) from manuscripts published in open access journals with the mandatory DAS.

Mirko Gabelica and colleagues selected 333 open-access journals published by BioMed Central and surveyed corresponding authors who wrote in the DAS that they would share the data. After accessing raw data sets, it was also checked whether data were available in a way that enabled re-analysis.

The authors found that of 3556 analyzed articles, 3416 contained DAS. The most frequent DAS category (42%) indicated that the datasets are available on reasonable request. Among 1792 manuscripts in which DAS indicated that authors are willing to share their data, 1670 (93%) authors either did not respond or declined to share their data with us. Among 254 (14%) of 1792 authors who responded to our query for data sharing, only 122 (6.8%) provided the requested data.

These results suggest that a DAS may not be sufficient to ensure data sharing as the compliance rate is the same as for authors who do not provide a DAS.