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Transparency and Openness Promotion

To promote more transparent and reproducible research, we ask authors submitting to Data & Policy to provide a Data Availability Statement in the manuscript to help authors understand how they can access the data, code and other resources that support the research findings.

The journal policy below expands on this requirement. It has been drafted in line with the Center for Open Science’s Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines.

General principles

Data & Policy believes that research articles should contain sufficient information to allow others to understand, verify, and replicate findings. We therefore believe that whenever possible:

  • Authors should make evidence and resources that underpin published findings, such as data, code, materials, and protocols, available to readers without undue barriers to access. We recognise that what constitutes “data” for findings can vary greatly, and covers a broad range of evidence and resources.
  • Authors should disclose how any new resources were created, and which resources are available to readers from where, along with information about any restrictions on their accessibility. We understand that in some circumstances, access to resources may need to be limited for legal, ethical, or other exceptional reasons.
  • Authors should cite any existing and external data sets, code, materials, or other resources used in a publication in the text, and list them in the reference section. Citations of such resources should include a persistent identifier, such as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), to ensure future accessibility.

Authors should also adhere to any additional requirements that may apply to them in the policies of their research funders and host institutions.

How to comply

Provide a Data Availability Statement in your manuscript, briefly describing how readers may access the resources that support your findings.

If these resources are publicly available, your Data Availability Statement should state where and how they may be accessed, preferably with a unique, persistent identifier and any applicable licence information.

If these resources are under embargo, or cannot be publicly released for legal, ethical, or other exceptional reasons, your Data Availability Statement should make this clear with a brief explanation. If resources are commercially distributed, this should also be made clear.

If your findings do not rely on any data, code or materials, for example in the case of conceptual or theoretical studies, this should be stated.

Some examples of Data Availability Statements are given below:

  • The data that support the findings of this study are openly available in [repository name] at http://doi.org/[doi], reference number [reference number].
  • The data that support the findings will be available in [repository name] at [URL / DOI link] following a [6 month] embargo from the date of publication to allow for commercialisation of research findings.
  • The data that support the findings of this study are available from [third party]. Restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under licence for this study. Data are available [from the authors / at URL] with the permission of [third party].

For questions on compliance, please contact dataandpolicy@cambridge.org.

What do we mean by data?

In the interests of supporting transparency and openness, authors should make available any data sets, code, materials, processes, and any other resources that would be necessary for others to fully evaluate the basis for any findings, and to verify or reproduce the work. Authors should include any information that will be required by others to allow them to access, interpret and process these resources.

We acknowledge that the process for sharing qualitative data can be complicated, and that qualitative data can take many forms including, among many others, interview transcripts, field notes, public reports, photographs and visual or audio materials. We recognise the value of such data to other researchers and so encourage authors to make qualitative data available, with appropriate ethical precautions, whenever possible. Guidance for preparing qualitative data for sharing is provided by bodies such as the Qualitative Data Repository and ICPSR.

How to make resources available?

All resources should be available to peer reviewers at the time of submission, with the exception of physical materials. Resources should be made publicly accessible by the time of publication.

Data & Policy recommends that wherever possible, resources be made publicly available via repositories that:

  • Are committed to the long-term preservation and accessibility of their content.
  • Are supported and recognised by the community as appropriate for the resources they hold.
  • Provide stable, unique identifiers for the information they hold.
  • Support linking between their database records and associated published research articles.
  • Allow free public access to their holdings, with reasonable exceptions (such as administration charges for the distribution of physical materials).

Authors' personal or departmental websites do not meet these requirements.

We suggest using the Data for Policy site on Zenodo, funded by CERN, OpenAIRE and the European Commission.

Other generalist repositories that can be used include Dryad, Figshare, Dataverse and the Open Science Framework.

Data & Policy assumes no responsibility for data uploaded to external repositories. Authors are responsible for ensuring that such data are usable, the files uncorrupted, and for answering any questions from scholars wishing to replicate the data work.

Resources can also be made available as supplementary information which will be digitally hosted by Data & Policy. Supplementary information files will not be copy edited or otherwise modified before publication.

At this time, reviewers are not required to formally review supplementary information or resources that are not included in the article.