Dataset Open Access

Data of the article "Journal research data sharing policies: a study of highly-cited journals in neuroscience, physics, and operations research"

Antti Rousi

The journals’ author guidelines and/or editorial policies were examined on whether they take a stance with regard to the availability of the underlying data of the submitted article. The mere explicated possibility of providing supplementary material along with the submitted article was not considered as a research data policy in the present study. Furthermore, the present article excluded source codes or algorithms from the scope of the paper and thus policies related to them are not included in the analysis of the present article.

For selection of journals within the field of neurosciences, Clarivate Analytics’ InCites Journal Citation Reports database was searched using categories of neurosciences and neuroimaging. From the results, journals with the 40 highest Impact Factor (for the year 2017) indicators were extracted for scrutiny of research data policies. Respectively, the selection journals within the field of physics was created by performing a similar search with the categories of physics, applied; physics, atomic, molecular & chemical; physics, condensed matter; physics, fluids & plasmas; physics, mathematical; physics, multidisciplinary; physics, nuclear and physics, particles & fields. From the results, journals with the 40 highest Impact Factor indicators were again extracted for scrutiny. Similarly, the 40 journals representing the field of operations research were extracted by using the search category of operations research and management. 

Journal-specific data policies were sought from journal specific websites providing journal specific author guidelines or editorial policies. Within the present study, the examination of journal data policies was done in May 2019. The primary data source was journal-specific author guidelines. If journal guidelines explicitly linked to the publisher’s general policy with regard to research data, these were used in the analyses of the present article. If journal-specific research data policy, or lack of, was inconsistent with the publisher’s general policies, the journal-specific policies and guidelines were prioritized and used in the present article’s data. If journals’ author guidelines were not openly available online due to, e.g., accepting submissions on an invite-only basis, the journal was not included in the data of the present article. Also journals that exclusively publish review articles were excluded and replaced with the journal having the next highest Impact Factor indicator so that each set representing the three field of sciences consisted of 40 journals. The final data thus consisted of 120 journals in total. 

‘Public deposition’ refers to a scenario where researcher deposits data to a public repository and thus gives the administrative role of the data to the receiving repository. ‘Scientific sharing’ refers to a scenario where researcher administers his or her data locally and by request provides it to interested reader. Note that none of the journals examined in the present article required that all data types underlying a submitted work should be deposited into a public data repositories. However, some journals required public deposition of data of specific types. Within the journal research data policies examined in the present article, these data types are well presented by the Springer Nature policy on “Availability of data, materials, code and protocols” (Springer Nature, 2018), that is, DNA and RNA data; protein sequences and DNA and RNA sequencing data; genetic polymorphisms data; linked phenotype and genotype data; gene expression microarray data; proteomics data; macromolecular structures and crystallographic data for small molecules. Furthermore, the registration of clinical trials in a public repository was also considered as a data type in this study. The term specific data types used in the custom coding framework of the present study thus refers to both life sciences data and public registration of clinical trials. These data types have community-endorsed public repositories where deposition was most often mandated within the journals’ research data policies.

The term ‘location’ refers to whether the journal’s data policy provides suggestions or requirements for the repositories or services used to share the underlying data of the submitted works. A mere general reference to ‘public repositories’ was not considered a location suggestion, but only references to individual repositories and services. The category of ‘immediate release of data’ examines whether the journals’ research data policy addresses the timing of publication of the underlying data of submitted works. Note that even though the journals may only encourage public deposition of the data, the editorial processes could be set up so that it leads to either publication of the research data or the research data metadata in conjunction to publishing of the submitted work. 

 

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