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Science  04 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6277, pp. 1005
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf4701

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In the midst of steady progress in policies for data sharing, a recent editorial expressed a contrarian view.* The authors described the concern of some scientists about the rise of an underclass of “research parasites” who exploit data sets that are collected and curated by others. Even worse, these parasites might use such data to try to disprove the conclusions posited in the data's original source studies. The editorial raised the points of how anyone not involved in the original study could use the data without misrepresenting it, and the danger of perhaps arriving at erroneous conclusions. The editorial advised instead that data sharing be implemented by involving the authors of the original study as coauthors in follow-up research. The research community immediately took to Twitter under the hashtag #IAmAResearchParasite to voice opposition to the editorial.