Chris Ferguson, a psychology researcher at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla., wanted to study how prolonged exposure to violent media affects kids and young adults. Not having access to his own long-term data on the subject, he turned to Brigham Young University, in Utah, where another group had recently published a similar study on the subject.
The response: Sure, you can share our data — but you’ll have to pay for it. It would cost $450 for the 1.5 hours it would take the institution to prepare the file. Lacking the cash but not wanting to abandon his project, Ferguson did what many people seeking funding do nowadays: He opened a GoFundMe page. Within two weeks, thanks to donations ranging from $10 to $300, he’d exceeded his goal.
Unfortunately, that still hasn’t opened up the data to him. “The contract they sent me I think was super restrictive — read literally, I don’t think even if I had found they had miscalculated a variable that I could recalculate it or report the error without their permission,” he told STAT. He and the school are trying to reach a deal.