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Thanks in Advance For Sharing Your Data

Posted in UC3

barbara bates turkey
Barbara Bates says to be sure to dress your turkey properly this season! Then invite him to eat some tofurky with you. From Flickr by carbonated

It’s American Thanksgiving this week, which means that hall traffic at your local university is likely to dwindle down to zero by Wednesday afternoon.  Because it’s a short week, this is a short post.  I wanted to briefly touch on data sharing policies in journals.

Will you be required to share your data next time you publish? If you are looking for a short answer, it’s probably not. Depending on the field you are in, the requirements for data sharing are not very… forceful. They often involve phrases like “strongly encourage” or “provided on demand”, rather than requiring researchers to archive their data, obtain an identifier, and submit that information alongside the journal article.  The journal Nature just beefed up their wording a bit; still no requirements for archiving though. Read the Nature policy on availability of data and materials.

Despite the slow progress towards data sharing mandates, there is a growing list of journals that sign up for the Joint Data Archiving Policy (JDAP), the brainchild of folks over at the Dryad Repository. The JDAP  verbiage, which journals can use in their instructions for authors, states that supporting data must be publicly available:

<< Journal >> requires, as a condition for publication, that data supporting the results in the paper should be archived in an appropriate public archive, such as << list of approved archives here >>. Data are important products of the scientific enterprise, and they should be preserved and usable for decades in the future. Authors may elect to have the data publicly available at time of publication, or, if the technology of the archive allows, may opt to embargo access to the data for a period up to a year after publication. Exceptions may be granted at the discretion of the editor, especially for sensitive information such as human subject data or the location of endangered species.

The bold face emphasis was mine, which I did because it’s important: the journal requires, as a condition for publication, that you share your data.  Now we’re cooking with gas!

The JDAP was adopted in a joint and coordinated fashion by many leading journals in the field of evolution in 2011, and JDAP has since been adopted by other journals across various disciplines. A list of journals that require data sharing via the JDAP verbiage are below.

Two other interesting bits about data sharing, in this case in PLOS:

List of Journals that require data sharing:

  • The American Naturalist
  • Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
  • BMC Ecology
  • BMC Evolutionary Biology
  • BMJ
  • BMJ Open
  • Ecological Applications
  • Ecological Monographs
  • Ecology
  • Ecosphere
  • Evolution
  • Evolutionary Applications
  • Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment
  • Functional Ecology
  • Genetics
  • Heredity
  • Journal of Applied Ecology
  • Journal of Ecology
  • Journal of Evolutionary Biology
  • Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management
  • Journal of Heredity
  • Journal of Paleontology
  • Molecular Biology and Evolution
  • Molecular Ecology and Molecular Ecology Resources
  • Nature
  • Nucleic Acids Research
  • Paleobiology
  • PLOS
  • Science
  • Systematic Biology
  • ZooKeys

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