Exciting trends emerging in publishing

  • Data journals represent an engaging new trend in scholarly publishing. These journals provide an opportunity for you to formally publish, and potentially be rewarded for, your research data outputs.

While traditional journals often include datasets only as supplementary materials, data journals focus on research datasets as important outputs that can be re-used and cited in their own right.

In 2012-2013, the Peer Review for Publication & Accreditation of Research Data in the Earth Sciences (PREPARDE) project collated a list of around thirty data journals across a range of disciplines, mostly in the sciences.

The most recent data journal to be launched comes from the well-known Nature Publishing Group. Scientific Data is an open-access, peer-reviewed outlet for articles that describe important scientific datasets. These articles, called data descriptors, are described as “a new category of publication designed to provide detailed descriptions of experimental, observational, computational or curated data.” Scientific Data does not host the datasets, which must be submitted to an appropriate external repository. Approximately sixty data repositories in life sciences, biomedicine and environmental sciences are currently recommended and this is likely to expand in future. The FAQs provide more information about submission and peer review processes, publication charges, and licensing options.

Data journals have different policies and requirements for submission, review, and data hosting. INS can help researchers identify data journals that might be suitable, and can provide advice on institutional and discipline repository options. To find out more about data journals, contact the Library Specialists for your academic group.

The Australian National Data Service (ANDS) also has a useful Data Journals Guide for researchers and information managers.

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