Initial thoughts on what a model data sharing policy might contain….

A POSSIBLE START FOR A ‘MODEL DATA SHARING POLICY’

As a result of the work done on the initial methodology for carrying out the survey, the information found as part of the survey, and from thoughts obtained from reading the following publication:

National Academy of Sciences (2003). Sharing Publication-Related Data and Materials: Responsibilities of Authorship in the Life Sciences.

Obtained online at http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10613.html

an initial ‘Model Data Sharing Policy’ for journals has been attempted as follows:

MODEL POLICY

  • GENERAL POLICY STATEMENT OR PREMISE – (e.g. Nature Publishing Group = “An inherent principle of publication is that others should be able to replicate and build upon the author’s published claims”. Chemical Society Reviews = “The RSC’s Electronic Supplementary Information (ESI) service is a free facility that enables authors to enhance and increase the impact of their articles”.)
  • WHOSE DATA SHARING POLICY IS IT? – (e.g. journal’s own, publisher’s own, society/association’s own, or refer to the ethics of the discipline with a link to an external policy such as the American Psychological Association – Ethical Guidelines for Authorship)
  • WHAT IS TO BE MADE AVAILABLE – (e.g. PRIMARY MATERIALS [usually integral to the article] = data, materials, software, other, and SUPPLEMENTARY MATERIALS [usually to enhance an article] = multimedia, spreadsheets etc)
  • GUIDELINES FOR DATA FORMATS FOR EACH TYPE OF DATA – (discipline/external guidelines such as MIAME, internal journal guidelines such as multimedia file sizes and formats)
  • OTHER INSTRUCTIONS RELATED TO THE DATA – (e.g. how references to a crystal structure (the data) should appear in the actual article, whether multiple datasets should be combined, provide clear file names for supplementary material – metadata/DOIs)
  • REQUIRED OR REQUESTED OR OTHER – (for each type of data mentioned state whether it is a requirement of publication or only a suggestion, or even whether the journal prefers to limit the data as in the cases of some supplementary material type policies)
  • WHERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF DATA ARE TO BE HELD – (EXTERNAL= e.g. repository, database, website, and provide the web links to information about the online databases, INTERNAL= e.g. with online journal)
  • WHERE TO STATE WHAT DATA IS AVAILABLE AND HOW TO ACCESS IT – (e.g. state it in the Methods section, provide link to it from the online article)
  • WHEN IT IS TO BE MADE AVAILABLE – (e.g. pre-publication, to reviewers etc)
  • EMBARGO PERIODS – (are these allowed, why, how long for?)
  • ACCESSIBILITY OF DATA  – (open access, free, low cost, or other levels of restrictions)
  • WHAT OTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF ACCESS TO THE DATA COULD OPERATE? – (e.g. related to the rights of recipient to use the material, Material Transfer Agreements ?)
  • ARE ANY EXCEPTIONS TO THE DATA POLICY ALLOWABLE? – (what would these be, to whom should they be referred for vetting? E.g. Journal of the National Cancer Institute –“authors are not expected to share materials that are difficult to obtain and cannot be propagated, nor are they expected to provided materials for commercial use”)
  • HOW MONITORING OF COMPLIANCE WILL OCCUR – (e.g. using accession numbers, other identifiers given by public databases, etc)
  • CONSEQUENCES OF NON COMPLIANCE WITH POLICY – (e.g. article not published, later retraction of article, refusal to publish future articles by that author)
  • HOW COMPLAINTS FROM OTHER RESEARCHERS ARE HANDLED IF THEIR REQUESTS ARE NOT MET – (how the journal will handle this)
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