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Journal to investigate controversial ME paper

The open-access journal PLOS ONE has said it will investigate whether the authors of a controversial research paper on chronic fatigue syndrome have violated the journal’s data-sharing policy by refusing to share their underlying data.

In an announcement on 15 December, publisher PLOS said that several readers had raised concern about analyses in the paper, which was published in PLOS ONE in 2012. It noted that it was aware that there had been requests for the study’s data.

The paper was published under a data policy that obliges authors to make information that may be “reasonably requested by others for the purpose of academic, non-commercial research” freely available but also stipulates that the confidentiality of test subjects should not be compromised. The authors have reportedly refused to share the data, however, and PLOS said in its statement that it was evaluating whether doing so breached that policy.

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