Abstract: Sharing research data is an integral part of the scientific publishing process. By sharing data, authors enable their readers to use their results in a way that the textual description of the results does not allow by itself. In order to achieve this objective, data should be shared in a way that makes it as easy as possible for readers to import them in computer software where they can be viewed, manipulated and analyzed. Many authors and reviewers seem to misunderstand the purpose of the data sharing policies developed by journals. Rather than being an administrative burden that authors should comply with to get published, the objective of these policies is to help authors maximize the impact of their work by allowing other members of the scientific community to build upon it. Authors and reviewers need to understand the purpose of data sharing policies to assist editors and publishers in their efforts to ensure that every article published complies with them.