Scientific Data | Scientific Data

We’ve clarified our policies on institutional repositories

This week, we updated our data repository recommendations to clarify our existing support for institutional repositories. We have also made it easier for authors using these resources to submit manuscripts to Scientific Data.

Initially established for archiving scholarly articles, many institutional repositories (IRs) are now offering their academics a space to archive and share their research data. Some IRs accept all types of data across all subjects, whilst others may only accept specific types of data, or data from a single project. Regardless of the specific data deposition parameters, IRs are increasingly important to an institution’s research data management (RDM) needs, particularly in response to funder requirements, e.g. EPSRC’s research data policy.

For most IRs, data deposition is limited to researchers working at the same institution, and so it would not be appropriate for Scientific Data to recommend these for use by the wider community. However since “…a key part of the services that comprise an institutional repository is the management of technological changes, and the migration of digital content from one set of technologies to the next as part of the organizational commitment to providing repository services1, IR’s are often well positioned for long-term data preservation.

We are therefore pleased to clarify that Scientific Data supports the use of IRs that:

  1. are able to mint DataCite DOIs for hosted data
  2. share data without unnecessary restrictions

For project or data specific IRs, we ask authors to request their IR manager to initiate our repository evaluation process, once a relevant article has been submitted to Scientific Data. This will allow us to add the project or data specific IR to our submission system, making it available for researchers to select the project or data repository during subsequent submissions.

This policy clarification does not compromise our strong commitment to community data repositories that focus on specific data-types or subjects. We continue to require data to be submitted to subject or data specific resources, where appropriate. However, IRs provide authors the ability to archive their data in the way that makes most sense for their particular project, which in some cases may mean dual archiving data to an IR and a subject specific repository. In all cases we encourage authors to cite all instances of their archived datasets in the Data Citation section of their manuscript, in accordance with our endorsement of the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles.

We trust that Scientific Data’s support of IRs makes it even easier for researchers to gain credit for sharing their data in a discoverable, accessible and usable way.



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