Data Policy IG: Exploring features and improving standards for data availability statements

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24 Feb 2022
Group(s) submitting the application: 
Meeting objectives: 

Data Availability Statements (DAS) have emerged as a key feature of journal research data policies and are increasingly prevalent in published articles. They can be important to understanding policy effectiveness, researchers’ sharing practices, and in supporting data discoverability and reuse. However, the quality and utility of many DAS could be improved, with “available on request” and other sub-optimal generic statements being commonly used. This session will explore the current state of DAS, how they are being used and how they can be further improved to support effective research data policies.

Meeting objectives:

  • To identify current standards, common features, and suggested best practices in journal data availability statements, so that they can better meet stakeholder needs

  • To explore, as a group, the benefits, challenges and utility of the current data availability statement structures and what might by missing for humans and/or machines to maximally utilize them

  • To identify actionable improvements that could be made to the implementation of journal research data policies

Meeting agenda: 

Collaborative session notes:



  • Use cases for high quality data availability statements: Aki MacFarlane, Open Research Specialist, Wellcome

  • What is the current state of availability statements?: Leho Tedersoo, author "Data sharing practices and data availability upon request differ across scientific disciplines"

  • DAS and PID integration - what, why and how?: Rachael Lammey, Head of Special Programs, CrossRef

  • Interactive session to define the key components of an “ideal DAS” (facilitated by Dr Rebecca Grant, F1000/Taylor & Francis)

Target Audience: 

Publishers, funders, institutional librarians and support staff, researchers, and any other stakeholders interested in publisher data sharing policies.

Group chair serving as contact person: 
Brief introduction describing the activities and scope of the group: 

Increasing the availability of research data for reuse is in part being driven by research data policies and the number of funders and journals and institutions with some form of research data policy is growing. The research data policy landscape of funders, institutions and publishers is however too complex (Ref: and the implementation and implications of policies for researchers can be unclear.  While around half of researchers share data, their primary motivations are often to carry out and publish good research, and to receive renewed funding, rather than making data available. Data policies that support publication of research need to be practical and seen in this context to be effective beyond specialist data communities and publications.

Short Group Status: 

The group was initially established at the 8th RDA plenary in 2016 (Denver). Since then, it has produced an RDA Supporting Output, “Developing a Research Data Policy Framework for All Journals and Publishers.” The group is continuing to explore the impacts of data policies and how the stringency of policies can be increased over time. At Plenary 18, the group’s session discussed the ways that stronger journal data sharing policies can impact on other stakeholders, such as funders.

Type of Meeting: 
Working meeting
Avoid conflict with the following group (2): 
Meeting presenters: 
Rebecca Grant; Iain Hrynaszkiewicz; others to be confirmed