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Scientific Data’s editorial policies and guide to referees

Today, we added detailed “Guide to referees” and “Editorial and publishing policies” pages to Scientific Data’s website.

The “Guide to referees” builds on our earlier blog post introducing our referee¬†questionnaire, and includes more detailed information on our criteria for publication and peer-review process.


Our “Editorial and publishing policies” introduce some important features that set Scientific Data apart as a new kind of data-focused publication:

  • Focused scope: Data Descriptors published at Scientific Data will stay focused on providing detailed descriptions of valuable datasets, and will not contain new scientific conclusions or interpretive analysis.
  • Complementary publication: Data Descriptors may describe datasets that are analysed in other publications or may be standalone descriptions of new datasets.
  • A clear policy on prior publication: The Nature-titled journals have agreed to clear conditions under which prior Data Descriptor publications will not be considered as compromising the novelty of new research manuscript submissions.
  • Strong data deposition standards: Authors will be required, in all cases, to deposit datasets in a trusted data repository and make them accessible to editors and referees before Scientific Data will consider a submission for peer-review.

We will be periodically releasing additional information as we run up to our “Call for Submissions” at the end of September or beginning of October, including:

  • Detailed information on our data deposition policies
  • Information for prospective authors of Data Descriptors, including submission & formatting guidelines and helpful templates

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