better policies for managing research data


Research data management issues for Publishers

It is now becoming the norm for research data to be added or made part of research articles reflecting the overall growth of data available in digital form in science and research. Many are of the opinion that data deserves to be marked as primary research output similar to official publications. As a result, editors and publishers of scientific journals are experiencing a vastly growing demand from authors to include the underlying data to their papers. For many publishers this has created a new challenge. Others struggle with an overflow of over-sized supplementary files ofdata and are lloking for  the best ways to handle them: how to keep all these multi-format files stored, available and preserved for the future.  

Progress to date

As it is stated in ODE Final Report , many editors and publishers are looking for new conventions in how to treat data in the context of articles.

Recent research has found that making research findings available for free is becoming more common. Around 50 per cent of the scientific papers published in 2011 were made available for free, and around 40 per cent of scientific peer reviewed articles published worldwide between 2004 and 2011 are online with open access, thus leading to better and more efficient science. Open access will be made mandatory for all scientific publications produced with funding from Horizon 2020.

There has been growing awareness of the need for higher ethical standards in journal publishing to deal with issues such as conflict of interest, ghost-writing, guest authorship, scientific fraud, plagiarism etc. The adoption of online submission systems has made it easier for journals systematically to collect information such as declaration on competing interests, ethical consents etc. According to STM report this is increasingly the norm.

The changing nature of the science , increasing use of internet and the decreasing costs of publishing have modified the services offered by scientific publishers. Open access journals have emerged and traditional publishers have started to develop new kinds of services in order to survive the scientific “revolution”. The associated costs for publishing are shifting from the readers and subscribers to the authors (funding agencies, universities etc.) In the future more value will be based on to the prepublication inputs, such as data and other relevant information.

Policy makers´ attention should address the peer review system. The new business models for scientific publishing will need to address potential issues related to quality control and peer reviewing.

SIM4RDM Guidance and Resources

As part of its evidence gathering work package SIM4RDM has produced a landscape study of interventions already in place or planned for improving data management skills, support and capacity.