(6 December 2016, London) More than 600 journals across Nature Research, Springer, BioMed Central and Palgrave Macmillan have committed to encouraging good practice in the sharing and archiving and citation of research data by adopting new Springer Nature research data policies. The text of the policies has today been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license so that they can be re-used by the wider research community.
These easy-to-understand policies encourage the publication of more open and reproducible research, and aim to increase growth and innovation in research and data sharing. They improve services for authors, editors and peer reviewers by standardising policies and procedures, providing more consistent links between publications and data, guidelines and support. In addition, a dedicated Research Data Support Helpdesk for Springer Nature authors and editors has been created.
Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, Head of Data Publishing at Springer Nature said: “We want to make data sharing easier and more consistent, enabling our authors to publish better research and enable easier compliance with research funder policies.
“Our data policies were created in consultation with researchers across all disciplines, as well as funders and librarians. Since we launched the project earlier in 2016, already more than 600 journals have signed up and this number is growing weekly. We have made the policy text available under a Creative Commons license and are now working with a wide range of stakeholders to enable adoption and harmonisation of data policy across funders, institutions, repositories, societies and other publishers.”
The policy types include:
- Type 1: Data sharing and data citation is encouraged
- Type 2: Data sharing and evidence of data sharing is encouraged
- Type 3: Data sharing encouraged and statements of data availability required
- Type 4: Data sharing, evidence of data sharing and peer review of data required
All types of policy support citation of research data – helping researchers gain credit for data sharing – in article reference lists, and support the deposition of research data in trusted research data repositories.
For example, Computer Science title Brain Informatics has adopted a Type 1 policy and Transition Metal Chemistry has adopted a Type 2 policy. All of the Nature-branded journals, BioMed Central journals and Palgrave Communications support type 3 policies. Journals with the strictest open data policies such as Scientific Data and Genome Biology support the requirements of the Type 4 policy.
Earlier this year, Springer Nature conducted research published in a report on The State of Open Data in partnership with Digital Science. Of the researchers who have already made their data open, 60% of respondents are unsure about the licensing conditions under which they have already shared their data, and thus the extent to which it can be accessed or reused. In addition, more than half of respondents said they would welcome more guidance on compliance with their funder’s policy. These challenges are addressed by the new Springer Nature policies.
The announcement is here.