At Scientific Data we have been considering how we might develop our scope and editorial policies to better accommodate clinical research data. Publication of clinical research presents a number of challenges, which we will not be the first to have attempted to solve. In particular, we might need to support linking of our primary article type, the data descriptor, to non-public datasets – datasets that cannot be open access due to patient privacy or other legitimate constraints. While we advocate setting the default for research data to open, we are also conscious that full anonymisation of clinical data is often impossible to achieve with certainty. Read more
This week, Nature and the Nature research journals made some important updates to their data availability policies: updates that strengthen the editorial links between Nature journals and Scientific Data; updates that provide better resources and support for authors wishing to better support reproducible research; and updates that leverage the work of Scientific Data to curate datasets and identify suitable data repositories for more authors. See the related editorial published at Nature. Read more
Big data are, it seems, everywhere and attracting much attention, but in terms of size are hard to define. Scientific research generates a lot of “small data” too – the average file size for all datasets deposited in our partner repository figshare, for example, is just 1.35 Mb. However, big data are ironically somewhat agnostic of file size, and instead are more about complexity – of the processing techniques and sources the data are derived from. Scientific Data is, for the data underlying our publications, also size agnostic. We welcome data big and small and, in response to feedback from our Editorial Board, have updated our frequently asked questions and scope statement to reflect this. Read more
The Scientific Data team is traveling heavily over the next two months as we run-up to our formal launch in late May 2014. If you are attending one of these meetings, we would be delighted to meet you and learn about your data. And, don’t miss the special events we will be hosting at AACR and EGU this year!
We are very pleased to share that NPG has endorsed the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles. These principles are a synthesis of previous guidelines and have been released by the Data Citation Synthesis Group a collaboration involving CODATA, the Research Data Alliance, members of the Force11 community, publishers and others. Read more
Earlier this month, Scientific Data published its first two Data Descriptors. These pre-launch articles recently cleared peer-review and we have decided to publish them before our formal launch in May 2014. They were published using a simplified article template, but they will be transferred to our more feature-rich publication platform in May, and will retain the same citation information and DOIs. Read more
Today, we released Scientific Data’s ISA-Tab metadata specification, a document describing in detail the format we use to capture and distribute machine-readable metadata content with our Data Descriptor articles. This document is designed for advanced scientists who are interested in submitting structured metadata with manuscripts or in mining the metadata associated with our publications.
Each published Data Descriptor will be accompanied by machine-readable metadata designed to help advanced users mine and search our content. These metadata will include basic information about the Data Descriptor article, as well as terms that describe key aspects of the experiments or procedures in the study.
Scientific Data will be a forum for publications about datasets, but will not be a repository for primary datasets. Primary data associated with Data Descriptors will be stored in one or more external data repositories. Why this distinction? Read more