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Data for ‘No comment’? A study of commenting on PLOS articles

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posted on 2021-04-08, 20:01 authored by Simon Wakeling

This data set consists of all comments (and associated metadata) left on PLOS articles since the launch of the very first PLOS journal (PLOS Biology) in 2003. The data set provded by PLOS included article ID, comment ID, the title of the comment, the comment itself, and the date and time the comment was created. PLOS required that the ‘display name’ (the username created by the individual making the comment) associated with comments be anonymised, and each comment author’s ‘display name’ was therefore converted by them to a unique numeric ID. These data were supplemented in a number of ways. In some cases, additional data (e.g. article title and publication date) were collected using a web scraping tool, while in others, information could be extracted or inferred from the original PLOS data (e.g. publishing journal, and whether the comment was original or a reply to an existing comment).

Full details of the data set and how it was derived can be found in the accompanying "Guide to data".





  • There is no personal data or any that requires ethical approval


  • The data complies with the institution and funders' policies on access and sharing

Sharing and access restrictions

  • The data can be shared openly

Data description

  • The file formats are open or commonly used

Methodology, headings and units

  • There is a readme.txt file describing the methodology, headings and units

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