Mike Spagat writes about researchers who refuse to share their data or even describe how they conducted their studies:
Non-disclosure is not just an unfortunate, but unfixable, accident. A methodology can be disclosed at any time. It’s not like you’re up there on a quiz show and the $50,000 question comes up:
How did you conduct your survey?
Inexplicably you hem and haw and reply:
I’m not telling you
You lose the $50,000 and are kicking yourself for years. Why didn’t you just answer the question rather than panicking?
Well put. At any time—even now, four years after the above-linked post—researchers can share data and experimental protocols. They can even admit they’ve made mistakes.
Heck, it’s not even too late for David Brooks to post some corrections. He ain’t ever gonna do it, but nothing’s stopping him from doing so.
As Mark Twain apparently never said, “It is better to keep one’s mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
In this case, the people in question have already opened their mouths and removed all doubt—but it’s not, and will never, be too late for them to open their mouth one more time and correct the record.
P.S. More context from Spagat here.