Springer Nature makes data sharing easier with single data policy across all journals and books
This move by the publisher continues its commitment to open science by supporting open research practices across all research outputs
London | New York | Berlin 22nd March 2023
Springer Nature has taken a further step forwards in its commitment to open science by requiring mandatory data availability statements (DAS) across its journals portfolio, and introducing its first unified data policy across the books portfolio.
Despite researchers' support for open data sharing, less than 40% of authors actively make their data available. Researchers tell us this can be down to practical challenges, including a lack of clarity about what is required. Increasingly, governments, funders and research institutes are adopting data sharing requirements in their policies. Encouraging data sharing across all publishing formats recognises this growing need for clearer, more accessible, actionable and measurable data policies. As a longstanding supporter of Open Research, Springer Nature is Introducing DAS as standard for its journal portfolio to promote greater transparency and reproducibility. Adopting a unified policy for books for the first time, is a further exciting step towards encouraging open research practices across all publications and driving forward open science for all.
Dr Maria Hodges, Executive Editor, BMC and Research Data commented:
“Reproducibility of scientific claims is crucial to the integrity of the scientific record. At the heart of research findings is the data from which results are obtained and conclusions are drawn, and its availability is key in supporting the reproducibility of that research and opening up science to rigorous interrogation.
“Moving to a single data policy for Springer Nature journals and introducing our first unified policy for books significantly reduces the complexity of the data policy for authors, helping them to know what is required. It makes clear our commitment to support authors in open research practice and better enable them to benefit from open science.”
The single journals policy will be rolled out across our journals progressively. Springer Nature’s previous data policies set a precedent back in 2016 and have been widely reproduced by other publishers since. Nature Portfolio, BMC and SpringerOpen journals already require a DAS in original publications (BMC being one of the first with this requirement). Springer and Palgrave titles move to mandatory data availability statements following their earlier commitment. Recognising the different journey that books are on in the move to open science - the single books policy will strongly encourage data sharing, and the use of repositories, but DAS will not be mandatory.
Additional notes to editors
- A DAS - data availability statement - consolidates information on availability of data associated with the manuscript, whether data are in repositories, available on request, included with supplementary information or figure source data files. They play an important role in providing readers with a starting point to validate and build on published literature
- They will be required across all original research publications.
- Springer Nature will be providing all authors with guidance on writing a DAS, along with discipline-specific guidance and examples. Journals that currently require all research data to be shared in a repository will keep this requirement, alongside the mandatory DAS of the new policy.
- Research Data is defined as including materials such as qualitative data; survey responses and text transcripts.
- In all research areas the policy implementation takes account of community needs and expectations, along with considerations of privacy and sensitivity. This includes support for areas that may not have considered their materials to be ‘data’, for example the Humanities and Social Sciences.
About Springer Nature
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Katie Baker | External Communications | Springer Nature