Journal Research Data Policies – Survey
September 13, 2012 2 Comments
Carrying out the Survey
There are 4 main working spreadsheets for the survey of Top/Bottom Science/Social Science Journals – approximating to 400 journals.
Each journal has now been reviewed and the results collated into the appropriate spreadsheet in accordance with the example given on the Project Data page of the JoRD Blog.
The survey of Journal Research Data Policies incorporates:
- the top 100 and bottom 100 Science Journals
- the top 100 and bottom 100 Social Science Journals
according to Thomson Reuters’ Journal Citation Reports.
This will help to shed light on the current state of data sharing policies within various journals.
Finding a Data Sharing Policy
Data sharing policies are likely to be found in:
- Instructions for Authors
- Author Guidelines
- Submission Information
- Publishing Policy
- Open Access Policy
- Data Sharing Policy
- Data Accessibility Policy
- Supplementary publication procedure
- Supplementary online material
- Ethical Guidelines
Some Preliminary Notes on the Data Collected From the Survey
- Science journals – many top rated journals have STRONG POLICIES relating to known/named data repositories which give accession numbers for the datasets entered (or similar) e.g. GENBANK.
- Science/Social Science journals – with STRONG POLICIES are also likely to have one or more ‘supplementary data’ type policies (WEAK POLICIES).
- STRONG POLICIES – usually monitored by Accession Number (or something related to the external storage of the data) which needs to be in the MS on submission – pre-monitoring rather than post-publication monitoring.
- WEAK POLICIES – are mainly Supplementary Data type – and the data is mainly stored with the journal itself (although occasionally a link to an existing repository can be given).
- WEAK POLICIES – Multimedia figures heavily in WEAK Supplementary Data type policies.
- Some policies operate at publisher level – so there is a generic policy for many of the titles (e.g. Annual Reviews). Occasionally though there are policies specific to the individual journal for a given publisher (depending on the nature of the data/journal/editorial board).
- Some journals did not provide EXPLICIT Data Sharing instructions in their Author Guidelines – however, this may be because there were instructions to the Author to follow Guidelines on other sites or Links which may make mention of Data Sharing e.g. Ethical policies, the guidelines of the American Psychological Association. This is part of the Ethical landscape of the discipline itself rather than the individual journal.
- Bottom rated journals seemed less likely to have data sharing policies.
- Some journals did not seem to have any obvious Author Guidelines at all (let alone Data Guidelines).
- Some journals had broken links, so policies were unavailable on the day of review.
- Impact of the nature of the data? – falsifiable/experimental data, with named repositories, having clear data formats, leads to more policies?