Another week, another presentation

Early this morning, well before normal work time, the dedicated Centre for Research Communication employees, Marianne and Jane, entered the special media communication room which contains the video conferencing equipment so that they could jointly present “Publisher Interest towards a role for Journals in Data Sharing: The Findings of the JoRD Project”. In the true spirit of global access and the digital world, they presented in Nottingham, UK and the presentation was seen at the ELPUB conference in Karleskrona, Sweden. We are pleased to report that the Nottingham technology worked really well, but a fellow presenter, also speaking through Adobe Connect, had difficulties with her connection and transmitted the sound of a large aircraft which was passing over the room where she was speaking. Jane and Marianne had chosen the high-tech route, because currently a tram line and bridge is being noisily constructed out side their office window, and had they decided to present from their computer, there would have been the sound of heavy machinery moving, beeps and rumbles, drilling and clangs.

Here is the link for the power-point slides:

JoRDELPUB

 

 

 

 

A rather long post, but quite a brief summary

Here is a summary of the the project so far.

Sharing the data which is generated by research projects is increasingly being recognised as an academic priority by funders, researchers and publishers.  The issue of the policies on sharing set out by academic journals has been raised by scientific organisations, such as the US National Academy of Sciences, which urges journals to make clear statements of their sharing policies. On the other hand, the publishing community expresses concerns over the intellectual property implications of archiving shared data, whilst broadly supporting the principle of open and accessible research data .

The JoRD Project was a feasibility study on the possible shape of a central service on journal research data policies, funded by the UK JISC under its Managing Data Research Programme. It was carried out by the Centre for Research Communications Research at Nottingham University (UK) with contributions from the Research Information Network and Mark Ware Consulting Ltd. The project used a mix of methods to examine the scope and form of a sustainable, international service that would collate and summarise journal policies on research data for the use of researchers, managers of research data and other stakeholders. The purpose of the service would be to provide a ready reference source of easily accessible, standardised, accurate and clear guidance and information, on the journal policy landscape relating to research data. The specific objectives of the study were:  to identify the current state of journal data sharing policies; to investigate the views and practices of stakeholders; to develop an overall view of stakeholder requirements and possible service specifications; to explore the market base for a JoRD Policy Bank Service; and to investigate and recommend sustainable business models for the development of a JoRD Policy Bank Service

A review of relevant literature showed evidence that scientific institutions are attempting to draw attention to the importance of journal data policies and a sense that the scientific community in general is in favour of the concept of data sharing.  At the same time it seems to be the case that more needs to be done to convince the publishing world of the need for greater consistency in data policy and author guidelines, particularly on vital questions such as when and where authors should deposit data for sharing.

The study of journal policies which currently exist found that a large percentage of journals do not have a policy on data sharing, and that there are great inconsistencies between journal data sharing policies. Whilst some journals offered little guidance to authors, others stipulated specific compliance mechanisms. A valuable distinction is made in some policies between two categories of data: integral, which directly supports the arguments and conclusions of the article, and supplementary, which enhanced the article, but was not essential to its argument. What we considered to be the most significant study on journal policies (Piwowar & Chapman, 2008), defined journal data sharing policies as “strong”, “weak” or “non-existent”. A strong policy mandates the deposit of data as a condition of publication, whereas a weak policy merely requests the deposit of data. The  indication from previous studies that researchers’ data sharing behaviour is similarly inconsistent was confirmed by our online survey. However, there is general assent to the data sharing concept and many researchers who would be prepared to submit data for sharing along with the articles they submit to journals.

We then investigated a substantial sample of journal policies to establish our own picture of the policy landscape. A selection of 400 international and national journals were purposefully chosen to represent the top 200 most cited journals (high impact journals), and the bottom 200 least cited (low impact journals), equally shared between Science and Social Science, based on the Thomson Reuters citation index.  Each policy we identified relating to these journals was broken into different aspects such as: what, when and where to deposit data; accessibility of data; types of data; monitoring data compliance and consequences of non compliance. These were then systematically entered onto a matrix for comparison. Where no policy was found, this was indicated on the matrix. Policies were categorised as either being “weak”, only requesting that data is shared, or “strong”, stipulating that data must be shared.

Approximately half the journals examined had no data sharing policy. Nearly three quarters of the policies we found we assessed as weak and only just under one quarter we deemed to be strong (76%: 24%). The high impact journals were found to have the  strongest policies,  whereas not only did fewer low impact journals include a data sharing policy, those policies were  were less likely to stipulate data sharing, merely suggested that it may be done. The policies generally give little guidance on which stage of the publishing process is data expected to be shared.

Throughout the duration of the project, representatives from publishing and other stakeholders were consulted in different ways. Representatives of publishing were selected from a cross section of different types of publishing house; the researchers we consulted were self selected through open invitations by way of the JoRD Blog. Nine of them attend a focus group and 70 answered an online survey. They were drawn from every academic discipline and ranged over a total of 36 different subject areas. During the later phases of the study, a selection of representatives of stakeholder organisations was asked to explore the potential of the proposed JoRD service and to comment on possible business models. These included publishers, librarians, representatives of data centres or repositories, and other interested individuals. This aspect of the investigation included a workshop session with representatives of leading journal publishers in order to assess the potential for funding a JoRD Policy Bank service. Subsequently an analysis of comparator services and organisations was performed, using interviews and desk research.

Our conclusion from the various aspects of the investigation was that although idea of making scientific data openly accessible for share is widely accepted in the scientific community, the practice confronts serious obstacles. The most immediate of these obstacles is the lack of a consolidated infrastructure for the easy sharing of data. In consequence, researchers quite simply do not know how to share their data. At the present juncture, when policies are either not available, or provide inadequate guidance, researchers acknowledge a need for the kind of information that a policy bank would supply. The market base for a JoRD policy bank service would be the research community, and researchers did indicate they believed such a service would be used.

Four levels of possible business models for a JoRD service were identified and finally these were put to a range of stakeholders. These stakeholders found it hard to identify a clear cut option of service level that would be self sustaining. The funding models of similar services and organisations were also investigated. In consequence, an exploratory two phase implementation of a service is suggested. The first phase would be the development of a database of data sharing policies, engagement with stakeholders, third party API development with the intention to build use to the level at which a second phase, a self sustaining model, would be possible.

Overview of policy types from the Science journals in the sample

Policy Types – Science Publications

From an analysis, the following sections represent various different policy types represented in the sample of Science publications.

Integral – Data/Materials/Software (Integral to your article)

Various policies talk about the data, materials and software etc that have been generated or used in the study, which would be integral to the study findings and necessary for subsequent study replication/verification purposes or to enable other researchers to build on the findings. These are illustrated below.

1. Data Release and Materials Release Policies

Examples

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press: Genome Research (Top Science)

This is a clearly laid out and extensive ‘Life Science’ type policy denoting that it is a condition of publication of the journal that materials required to replicate the work must be made freely available – this principle needs to be agreed to on acceptance. Data should also be made as freely accessible as possible prior to publication. There are clear guidelines about the location of materials and a whole set of weblinks are given for the locations of the following types of material:

  • Sequence data
  • Genotype/Phenotype and genomic variation data
  • Microarray data
  • Proteomics and molecular interactions

Accession numbers must be included in the abstract. The policy says that if reasonable requests are not honoured then researchers should contact the Editor

BioMed Central: Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine (Bottom Science)

In the Instructions for Authors, the following data types are listed in their policy under ‘Data and Materials release’; these are also fairly typical for Life Science disciplines:

  • Nucleotide Sequences
  • Protein Sequences
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Structures
  • Chemical structures and assays
  • Functional genomics data (such as microarray, RNA-seq or ChIP-seq data)
  • Computational Modelling
  • Plasmids

Each data type specifies the named databases for storing the data and gives weblinks for ease of access. Appropriate external guidelines for the data are given where appropriate such as MIAME. These materials are classed as “readily reproducible” and are to be made “freely available to any scientist wishing to use them for non-commercial purposes”. This ‘life science’ type policy only seems unusual in its timescale for inclusion of the Accession Number – which is in time to be included in the published article (rather than say with the submitted manuscript).

Cell Press :  A range of publications including e.g. Cell (Top Science)

Cell Press publications have a ‘Distribution of Materials and Data’ section which states that it is a term and condition of publishing for authors to be willing to distribute any materials (cells, DNA, antibodies, reagents, organisms, mouse strains, ES cells) and protocols. Structures should also have their relevant information lodged with named or appropriate databases. MIAME guidelines should be followed as appropriate. Authors should contribute additional data/materials to appropriate databases and repositories. Accession numbers are required.

The Royal Society of Chemistry: Chemical Society Reviews (Top Science)

RSC journals have very comprehensive guidelines for both single crystal and powder diffraction data.  In the case of the former, authors should prepare their work in CIF (Crystallographic Information File) format. For single crystal work, structural information should be deposited with the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre (CCDC) and upon submission of the manuscript the CCDC reference numbers will be requested. Powder diffraction data may be submitted as a CIF file via the RSC submissions service.

Nature Publishing Group (includes all journals published by Nature which have Nature in the title)

NPG has very full guidelines for ‘Availability of data and materials’, ‘Sharing Materials’, and ‘Sharing data sets’. They refer to various named repositories and databases for many types of materials and data. Guidelines such as MIAME are noted. There is also a comprehensive Further Reading list which encompasses Nature Journal editorials on these topics. http://www.nature.com/authors/policies/availability.html

2. Data/Materials Sharing as the ‘Ethical Guidelines’ of the discipline

Several publishers/publications refer to ‘ethical  guidelines’ which are part of the landscape of the discipline concerned. Professional conduct means that data/materials should be made available for appropriate researchers to allow for further analysis and review.

 American Chemical Society: Chemical Reviews (Top Science)

The American Chemical Society publishes a number of journals and has created a set of “Ethical Guidelines to Publication of Chemical Research”. Authors wishing to publish in journals such as Chemical Reviews are expected to follow these ethical guidelines. Part of the ‘Ethical Obligations of Authors’ states that “When requested, the authors should make every reasonable effort to provide data, methods, and samples of unusual materials……. to other researchers” and “Authors are encouraged to submit their data to a public database, where available”.

American Physical Society: Reviews of Modern Physics (Top Science)

See Under:  Ethics and Values (Guidelines for Professional Conduct) – Research Results:

“The results of research should be recorded and maintained in a form that allows analysis and review”

Elsevier: (e.g.  Progress in Polymer Science – Top Science)

Ethics in Research Publication – Data access and retention:

“Authors may be asked to provide the raw data in connection with a paper for editorial review, and should be prepared to provide public access to such data (consistent with the ALPSP-STM Statement on Data and Databases), if practicable, and should in any event be prepared to retain such data for a reasonable time after publication.

3. Data Sharing – not necessarily mandatory

BMJ Group – British Medical Journal (Top Science)

Authors are ‘encouraged’ to link their articles to external databases (no hosting to be done by BMJ) and then include a ‘data sharing statement’ at the end of the manuscript. This statement should state if data sharing is available or not, and if it is, where to obtain the information. BMJ is also interested in the informed consent of the research participants and reference to this should also be made in the statement.

Data sharing is thus not mandatory to the journal, but the journal recognises that it could be mandatory according to certain funders etc.

4. Database Linking – connecting with external databases

Elsevier – Current Opinion in Cell Biology (Top Science)

In the Author Information Pack, Elsevier draw attention to linking to external databases that help to build a better understanding of the described research:

“Elsevier encourages authors to connect articles with external databases”.

This is very vague, and is rather more ‘encouraging’ than ‘mandatory’.

 Nature Reviews – e.g. Neuroscience, Molecular Cell Biology (Top Science)

Nature Reviews are journals which publish reviews of existing data in different fields in any case – “Proteins, protein domains, genes and diseases are linked to specific pages in relevant and high-quality public databases”.

 5. Links to materials on an authors’ institutional website

American Physiological Society: Physiological Reviews (Top Science)

This journal permits one of the authors to provide a working URL from their institutional website (links to additional datasets and/or detailed methods and protocols) which is to be given in an Endnote in the manuscript – under the proviso that it is recognised that this material is not peer-reviewed and may be updated from time to time. It is for readers seeking to replicate or expand on the work.

Supplementary Materials

Supplementary materials are frequently of the request/suggest type and are lodged with the journal – they are mainly of the ‘enhancing your article type’ and often include multimedia. There are, however, exceptions to this general idea of article ‘enhancement’ as some of the supplementary materials could actually be classed as ‘integral’ to the article’s findings.

1. Request/Suggest type – and happy to accept it – usually submitted with the manuscript – published with the journal

Essentially similar to those which are prevalent in the Social Sciences – especially where the publisher is the same (e.g. Springer Publications such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India Section B: Biological Sciences – Bottom Science).

Cell Press (See for example Immunity – Top Science)

They see ‘supplemental information’ as a useful resource, but recognise that it needs to be managed by structure and limits. The material is considered to be “additional or secondary support for the main conclusions” (thus implying not of the integral type). They require information to be submitted according to three headings: 1. Supplemental Data, 2. Supplemental Experimental Procedures, 3. Supplemental References. They give file formats and sizes. Alongside this, Immunity also has a Distribution of Materials and Data policy. Immunity is one of the journals to have more than one data policy.

Annual Reviews (See for example Astronomy and Astrophysics – Top Science)

A comprehensive ‘Supplemental Materials Policy’.  Preparation guidelines are provided, along with acceptable and unacceptable file types. This material is to be “supportive but not primary”.

Nature publications (e.g. Cell Biology – Top Science)

Supplementary information is not copy-edited, modifications after publication require a formal correction, guidelines are to be followed for it or publication may be delayed, each piece of supplementary material must be referred to at least once in the text of the main article. There is a comprehensive set of guidelines for SI.

The Lancet (e.g. Infectious Diseases, Neurology – Top Science)

Unlike other publications which refer to ‘supplementary’ or ‘supplemental’ material, publications by The Lancet tend to refer to ‘Guidelines for web extra material’, however these refer to fairly standard things such as text, tables, data, drug names, references, figures, and audio/video material. It is preferred that this material is submitted as one PDF with the paper, and it will be peer-reviewed.

The American Astronomical Society: Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series

The AAS have a policy on machine readable tables (MRT) whereby lengthy tables should be moved to MRT format. There are full guidelines about this.

2. Hosting this material is new to us

The Canadian Field Naturalist (Bottom Science) – “Supplementary Material”

“Supplementary material is a new feature for CFN so we do not know which file formats can and cannot be accepted; please consult our journal Manager with any question about specific formats”

This journal is just starting out on the process and has yet to clarify its procedures.

3. Supporting Information – but ‘essential’ or ‘central’ for understanding the main points of the article – with journal

Wiley Online Library: Angewandte Chemie International Edition (Top Science)

From the ‘Supporting Information’ section – here, although the information is classed under the heading of ‘supporting’, it is actually deemed ‘essential to understanding the article and includes “experimental procedures, spectroscopic data, graphics etc”, rather than just enhancing the article. There is a blurring here of supporting material with integral material. This is interesting here as the same journal also has a policy about Crystal Structure Analysis, in that Crystallographic data should not be sent as Supporting Information but should be lodged with the named Data Centres and deposition numbers must be supplied with the manuscript.

American Society of Clinical Oncology: Journal of Clinical Oncology (Top Science)

This journal “requires that large data sets central to the premise of a manuscript be submitted along with the original work as a supplemental file”. It does also state that data which can be submitted to a public database should be deposited and accession numbers provided.

 4. Supplementary Information – which should not be the sole evidence for the article

Wiley Online Library: Ecology Letters (Top Science)

From  the ‘Online Supplementary Information’ section – the journal clearly states that “the material published on the internet cannot be used as sole evidence for the print version of the article”. This implies that more integral data – the evidence base for the findings – should also be available elsewhere.

5. Supplemental Materials – only at the Editor’s discretion

Wiley Online Library: CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians (Top Science)

This journal states that Supplemental Materials presented as Appendices are not permitted and should be placed within the manuscript or eliminated. Supplemental materials are published at the Editor’s discretion. This journal is not really encouraging concerning the use of supplementary materials.

American Society for Microbiology: Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews

The Supplemental Material section states “Please avoid supplemental material”. It is an Editorial decision if any is to be published.

6. Supplementary Information – carefully controlling the volume of SI

Nature: Neuroscience, Immunology  (Top Science)

This publisher suggests with respect to these journals that since SI is proliferating and can be unwieldy “we have therefore decided to carefully control the volume of Supplementary Information”

New Data – Which is the Actual Publication itself

Examples

 IngenieraQuimica – Chemical Engineering (Bottom Social Science):

Under their ‘Write for the Site’ section they include:

“Post, articles, images related to chemical engineering, software or spreadsheets that you have prepared.”  Here the data to be shared becomes the article.

Overview of policy types from the Social Science journals in the sample

Policy Types – Social Sciences

 Integral – Data/Materials/Software (Integral to your article)

Like the Sciences, some Social Science publications also have policies for integral data.

1.  Integral data – but weak policy

This is the type of policy that should actually be strong in that it should really be monitored, and can indeed be monitored, but is referred to in terms which are quite weak implying that you can do this if you want to.

Examples

a) Elsevier – Schizophrenia Research (Top Social Science)

This policy refers to DNA sequences and GenBank Accession numbers – which in the case of strong policies are used to monitor that the data has been deposited.

However, the policy says “Many Elsevier journals cite “gene accession numbers”” and “Elsevier authors wishing to enable other scientists to use the accession numbers….” – which are not statements indicating that the data must be deposited as a requirement of publication.

b) The Royal College of Psychiatrists – The British Journal of Psychiatry (Top Social Science)

Under ‘Access to Data’ their policy states:

“If the study includes original data, at least one author must confirm that he or she had full access to all the data in the study, and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. We strongly encourage authors to make their source data publicly available.”

This is the entirety of what it states and whilst it appears to be strong there is no indication of any monitoring or recommendations as to how the data should be made accessible. There is no recommendation here as to where data could be stored.

2. Integral data – the journal refers you to external Ethical Guidelines

a) Sage – Personality and Social Psychology Review (Top Social Science).

The Submission Guidelines refer you to the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association – these ethical guidelines contain the following statement:

8.14 Sharing Research Data for Verification
(a) After research results are published, psychologists do not withhold the data on which their conclusions are based from other competent professionals who seek to verify the substantive claims through reanalysis and who intend to use such data only for that purpose, provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and unless legal rights concerning proprietary data preclude their release. This does not preclude psychologists from requiring that such individuals or groups be responsible for costs associated with the provision of such information. http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx?item=11

Here the journal policy refers you to data sharing policies that are part of the ethical landscape of the discipline.

This also obviously refers to any publication that is actually published by the American Psychological Association – e.g. Psychological Methods (Top Social Science)

b) Sage – American Sociological Review (Published in association with the American Sociological Association – Top Social Science)

Under the Manuscript Submission procedures, this journal refers you to the ethical guidelines of the American Sociological Association – these ethical guidelines contain the following statement:

“Sociologists make their data available after completion of a project or its major publications, except where proprietary agreements with employers, contractors, or clients preclude such accessibility or when it is impossible to share data and protect the confidentiality of the data or the anonymity of research participants (e.g. raw field notes or detailed information from ethnographic interviews)”

3. Integral Data – but refers to the analysis of pre-existing datasets

a) Physicians Postgraduate Press – The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (official journal of the American Society for Clinical Psychopharmacology)

See under:  ‘Analyses of Preexisting Datasets’ – Here the author is not necessarily the creator of the original dataset but is required to provide details about how the dataset in question can be accessed.

Supplementary Materials (Enhancing your article)

1. Request/Suggest type – and happy to accept it – submitted with the manuscript – published with the journal

Examples

a) Taylor and Francis publications – “Adding multimedia and supplementary content to your article” (generic to the publications of the publisher)

  • Reviewed in connection with Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies and Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development (Bottom Social Science Journals)

This policy makes a range of suggestions about what types of material would enhance the article and is happy to accept the material to be published with the journal.

This policy refers to Animations, Movie Files, Sound files, Text files, and Supplementary Material (pertinent and support the article).

A range of file formats, file sizes and other instructions are provided. The material must be submitted with the manuscript.

The policy is weak. The material is not a ‘requirement’ of publication.

Both Elsevier (Video Data and Supplementary Data) and the American Psychological Association Publications (Multimedia Files) have a similar generic policy on data which enhances articles.

b) Springer Publications – “Electronic Supplementary Material (generic to publisher)

  • Reviewed  in connection with Asia Europe Journal (Bottom Social Science Journal)

This generic policy similarly refers to Audio, Video, and Animations. But it does also make mention of more specialised formats such as .pdb (chemical), .wrl (VRML) and .tex.

This policy also refers to the “Accessibility” of the provided content (related to catering for disabilities etc).

c) Springer Publications: Studies in East European Thought – “Electronic Supplementary Material”

This also makes mention of large original data such as additional tables.

Wiley Blackwell also have a “Supporting Information” type policy which contains Multimedia elements but also refers to “native datasets and specialist software” (possibly moving into the integral data arena as in the section below).

2. Request/Suggest type – and happy to accept it – but you can also link to an external database or repository (but not your own website)

a) Maney Publishing: London Journal – “Supplementary Material” (Bottom Social Science)

Formats and instructions are given.

3. ‘Supplemental Type’ Materials – which should really be described as ‘Integral’ Materials

a) Project HOPE – Health Affairs – “Supplemental Materials” (Top Social Science)

Some of the materials are probably described as supplemental (and thus supplementary to the article itself) because they will be deposited with the journal. However, the material they refer to is not of the multimedia type (which would enhance the article) but concerns “supplying information that is necessary to evaluate the credibility of their work” and probably should therefore be described as ‘integral’. There is a definition issue at work here.

The journal is particularly keen on the full details of any regressions which have been used.

Other ‘supplemental materials’ “may” be submitted and are therefore properly of the ‘request/suggest’ type.

b) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins  – Epidemiology – “Online Supplemental Material” (Top Social Science)

Underneath the section on ‘Online Supplemental Material’ the journal makes reference to Questionnaires – which should also be provided as online supplemental material. As these are foundational to the actual dataset, they are properly classed as integral materials. This is one of the few mentions of a questionnaire in a data/materials policy. Questionnaires are emphasised separately here as they are very frequent research tools in the Social Sciences but they are only mentioned once in the policies under review in the JoRD project.

NOTES ON THE ANALYSIS GENERALLY

  • Mention of appropriate Databases and Repositories for Social Sciences are not much in evidence in the policies unless the journal discipline is more scientifically orientated. This begs the question of where Social Science related materials would be stored if policies were to be made STRONG in the Social Sciences. What are the qualitative data databases that need to be referred to? What would the equivalent of an Accession number be?
  • Not much mention is made of specifically Social Science types of data – e.g. Transcripts of Interviews, Focus Groups, Questions and Questionnaires, although some of the data may be implicit in Multimedia policies (e.g. videos of scenarios under investigation in the article – the deposit of such data is complicated by needing to gain the permission of the participants who may be taking part in the videos and recordings of interviews?? As below).
  • There is a debate in the Social Sciences about the nature of ‘data’ itself. Social Sciences debate the concept of whether data is ‘out there’ waiting to be found (positivist assumptions), or ‘constructed’ in a ‘reflexive’ manner between researcher and participant. Also, can the context of a previous research study be transferred to the new study – or does the new researcher bring a new reflexivity to the data in question.
  • The data landscape in the Humanities and Social Sciences is complicated by the data being collected needing to respect the anonymity of individual human subjects who may be recognisable from raw data such as field notes. Can totally raw data be provided in the Social Sciences? (this may also apply to Science journals and patient data though, as some patients may be recognisable from their symptoms).

Journal Research Data Policies – Survey

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?