Scholarly Journals introduce Supplementary Data Archiving Policy

An important editorial has just appeared online in the February issue of The American Naturalist.
To promote the preservation and fuller use of data, The American Naturalist, Evolution, the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Molecular Ecology, Heredity, and other key journals in evolution and ecology will soon introduce a new data archiving policy. The policy has been enacted by the Executive Councils of the societies owning or sponsoring the journals. For example, the policy of The American Naturalist will state:

This 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 GenBank, TreeBASE, Dryad, or the Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity. 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.

This policy will be introduced approximately a year from now, after a period when authors are encouraged to voluntarily place their data in a public archive. Data that have an established standard repository, such as DNA sequences, should continue to be archived in the appropriate repository, such as GenBank. For more idiosyncratic data, the data can be placed in a more flexible digital data library such as the National Science Foundation–sponsored Dryad Archive.

Authors of the editorial, Michael C. Whitlock, Mark A. McPeek, Mark D. Rausher, Loren Rieseberg, and Allen J. Moore present the case for the importance of data archiving in science.   This is the first of several coordinated editorials soon to appear in major journals.

One Response to “Scholarly Journals introduce Supplementary Data Archiving Policy”

  1. […] Agreement An interesting press release from last week particularly when seen in the context of previous announcements on this blog: an emerging trend of journals and publishers linking to open-access data repositories? […]

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