The Transparency Project

Division on Addiction, The Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School

The Transparency Project: A Data Repository for Privately-Funded Research

 

Welcome from the Curators

On behalf of the Division on Addictions, we welcome you to the Transparency Project! We are excited to launch this new and defining initiative. We intend this website to become an active and important source of information for researchers and others who are interested in advancing addiction-related research and the public health.

Contemporary events and social trends correctly direct researchers to make more scientific information publicly available to more people. For example, in the United States, researchers must make publicly-funded scientific datasets freely available to others. This requirement emerged from two primary beliefs: (1) publicly-funded scientific information should be publicly available, and (2) greater access to scientific information will speed the process of improving the public’s health. Reflecting this movement, and in concert with these beliefs, the Division on Addictions has created the Transparency Project: A Database Repository for Privately-funded Science. Making available privately-funded datasets, such as industry-related and industry-funded datasets, will help foster rapid growth in knowledge related to addictive behavior, and consequently, advance public health.

According to some estimates, private sources sponsor twice the research sponsored by public sources. This disparity suggests a need to facilitate greater access to privately-funded databases. In addition to advancing science, providing a venue through which researchers can make public their private data should help dispel concerns that many people feel about privately-funded science. For example, scientific misconduct by some private funders, such as the tobacco industry, has created an atmosphere of skepticism and mistrust related to private funding sources in general. This atmosphere of concern is not unwarranted, as many have now documented. However, the misdeeds of some should not preclude private sources from contributing to the advancement of science. On the contrary, because some private sources provide both opportunity and exposure to potential objects of addiction, it is our belief that such private sources should continue to provide funding for high quality programs of scientific investigation.

Finally, president Obama has called for the development of more public-private partnerships for research and elsewhere. We agree that these partnerships hold the potential to advance science and public health. We suggest that, as such partnerships emerge and evolve, transparency should be the norm for information, and not the exception. With that spirit, we sincerely hope that you will utilize the Transparency Project to promote these ideals and join with us to alleviate the burdens caused by addictive behaviors.

Sincerely,

Howard J. Shaffer

Debi A. LaPlante

Description
 

This is the first ever public data repository for privately-funded datasets, such as industry-funded data, specifically related to addictive behavior (e.g., alcohol and other drugs, intemperate gambling, excessive shopping, etc.). The Division on Addictions created this repository to promote transparency for privately-funded science and better access to scientific information.

 

All Transparency Project datasets have been de-identified according to HIPAA regulations.  Transparency Project datasets must be IRB approved for posting in the Transparency Project database repository.

 

The Transparency Project makes available datasets collected by multidisciplinary addiction researchers working throughout the world. The Division on Addictions encourages the external contribution of addiction-related research data for this project, and will continue to add its own datasets to the repository.

Check back often for new additions to the data repository or subscribe to our mailing list for updates.

 

Mission

 

The Transparency Project aims to collect and archive high quality addiction-related privately-funded data from around the world. The purpose of this project is to make data available to scientists so that they can advance the available empirical evidence and knowledge base about addiction.

 

Rationale

 

Scientific information often is locked away in scientific journals, which tend to have limited accessibility. The Division on Addictions has a long history of making science publicly available beyond professional journals and other similar publications. For instance, the Division publication, The BASIS (www.basisonline.org), provides each week, free summaries of scientific articles related to multiple expressions of addiction. We seek to advance our efforts by taking one step further and providing, via the Transparency Project, easy access to the source of many of those scientific articles. We believe that this effort is both publicly responsible and ethically desirable. Industry-funded scientific studies have often come under scrutiny by researchers, advocates, the media, and the public. The unfortunate history of tampering with science by scientific sponsors created this atmosphere of distrust. We seek to improve this complex situation by increasing accessibility to privately-funded data. It is our hope that this increased access will provide the impetus for the development of public-private research partnerships and simultaneously advance what we know about addictive behavior.

Announcements and Updates about The Transparency Project

 

To view the publication from the datasets below please click here to request the password.


Projects related to bwin.party


The “Associations between national gambling policies and disordered gambling prevalence rates within Europe” codebook and datasets are now available for download.

 

The “Using Cross-game Behavioral Markers for Early Identification of High-risk Internet Gamblers” codebook and datasets are now available for download.

 

The “Behavioral characteristics of Internet gamblers who trigger corporate responsible gambling interventions” codebook and datasets are now available for download.

 

The “How Do Gamblers Start Gambling: Identifying Behavioural Markers for High-risk Internet Gambling” codebook and datasets are now available for download.

 

The “Actual Internet Sports Gambling Activity: February 2005 through September 2005” codebook and datasets are now available for download.

 

The "Sitting at the Virtual Poker Table: February 2005 through February 2007" codebook and datasets are available for download.

 

LaPlante, D. A., Kleschinsky, J., LaBrie, R. A., Nelson, S. E., & Shaffer, H. J. (2009). Sitting at the Virtual Poker Table: A Prospective Epidemiological Study of Actual Internet Poker Gambling Behavior. Computers in Human Behavior, 25(3). 711-717. (Password Protected)

 

The "Virtual Casino Gambling: February 2005 through February 2007" codebook and datasets are available for download.

 

LaBrie R. A., Kaplan, S. A., LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., and Shaffer, H. J. (2008). Inside the virtual casino: A prospective longitudinal study of actual Internet casino gambling. European Journal of Public Health, 18(4), 410-416. (Password Protected)

To understand how the different datasets available from bwin.party are related to each other see the Master Codebook

Other projects

The “Meta-analytic Prevalence Estimates of Disordered Gambling Behavior in the United States and Canada” codebook and datasets are now available for download.

Shaffer, H. J., Hall, M. N., Bilt, J. V. (1999). Estimating the prevalence of disordered gambling behavior in the United States and Canada: A research synthesis. American Journal of Public Health, 89(9) 1369-1376.

Shaffer, H. J., & Hall, M. N. (2001). Updating and Refining Prevalence Estimates of Disordered Gambling Behaviour in the United States and Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 92(3), 168-172.


 

The Transparency Project is featured in World Online Gambling Law Report, Volume 8, Issue 3, March, 2009!
 

Here's an excerpt: “In a move to make addiction research more open and accessible, the Division on Addictions at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, has created a data repository called 'The Transparency Project.' This data repository allows scientists from around the world to engage in a free exchange of data from privately-funded research. Open access to information from research supported by private interests will promote evidence from this resource to take its place alongside that from government sponsored research. Ultimately, to the benefit of health providers as well as to political and legal decision-makers deciding on complex addiction-related issues, the Transparency Project will enhance confidence in scientific findings.”

Click here to view the entire article.

 


© Division on Addiction. All Rights Reserved. Last Updated:  March 02, 2010