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Scientific Data releases two sample Data Descriptors

We recently released two sample Data Descriptors to help prospective authors interested in submitting manuscripts to Scientific Data. These samples were created to help scientists understand our unique scope and formatting requirements, and to illustrate the value of detailed descriptions of valuable datasets. Over the coming weeks we will be releasing more detailed information for authors, including Data Descriptor templates, to help prepare scientists for our call for submissions at the end of September.

Sample 1: Proteomic profiles of human embryonic stem cells, induced-pluripotent stem cells and precursor fibroblasts, prepared by Javier Munoz and Albert J.R. Heck

Sample 2: Sequencing of genomes, transcriptomes and methylomes of wild Arabidopsis thaliana accessions, prepared Robert J. Schmitz, Matthew D. Schultz & Joseph R. Ecker

See this page to view the full sample articles and to download experimental metadata

These samples were refashioned from content in two previous publications (Munoz et al., 2011; Schmitz et al., 2013), and were not separately peer-reviewed, so we ask that you cite the original articles in any scholarly publications. Many thanks to the authors who helped us prepare these samples.

Importantly, these samples introduce the main body sections of the Data Descriptor article type:

  • Title
  • Abstract (170 words max.) – A succinct description of the study, the resulting data and the reuse potential, which should not make any claims regarding new scientific findings.
  • Background & Summary (700 words max.) – An overview of the study and the data generated, including any background information needed to put this study in the context of previous work and the literature. This section should also briefly outline the broader goals that motivated the creation of this dataset and the potential reuse value.
  • Methods  – Detailed text describing the processes or experiments that generated the data outputs, in enough detail to allow other researchers to interpret and repeat the study.
  • Data Records – A description of each data record associated with a Data Descriptor, including the repository where this information is stored and an overview of the data files and their formats.
  • Technical Validation – Any experiments or analyses that are needed to support the technical quality of the dataset.
  • Usage Notes – Instructions or advice that may help other researchers reuse the dataset.

These early samples have been rendered using relatively generic article templates. Our full publication platform will launch in 2014, and will include additional features, including better presentation of tables, integration of the metadata with the Data Descriptor article, and improved data citations. For now, experimental metadata records are available for download with each sample in the ISA-tab format.


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