Interagency Data Stewardship/Citations/editor reviewer guidelines

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Data Citation guidelines for data providers and data users describes how and why to properly cite data, but another important encouragement for good citation practices are having reviewers and editors check for proper citation usage.

We can develop some stock article submission language that editors could include in the submission guidelines for their journals.

When a paper is submitted to a journal, the editor should look for proper data citations, we can develop a form letter to return to authors in the case where there are not citations.

Need guidelines in instructions to reviewers.

References should provide clear linkage to the data (e.g. persistent identifier)

W3C standard on task types. How are citations actually used? Give examples. This helps with justification. Need to consider issues of micro-citation in particular.

Paper reviewers should go even further, following data citations and determining if the data are actually obtainable, we can develop some stock verbiage that could be provided back to authors in that case too.

Example Journal Policy

To advance scientific exploration and discovery, and allow a full assessment of results presented in XYZ journal, all data necessary to understand, evaluate, replicate, and build upon the reported research must be made available and accessible whenever possible. This includes full citation of all source data used.

For the purposes of this policy, data include, but are not limited to, the following:

Data used to generate, or be displayed in, figures, graphs, plots, videos, animations, or tables in a paper.
New protocols or methods used to generate the data in a paper.
New code/computer software used to generate results or analyses reported in the paper.
Derived data products reported or described in a paper.

Authors are encouraged to identify and archive their data in approved data centers. If there is no relevant public repository available, and the data are such that they cannot easily be included in a supplement, authors are expected to curate the above data for at least 5 years after publication and provide a transparent process to make the data available to anyone upon request. Data sets that are not curated or cannot be reliably made available to anybody requesting data may not be cited in the XYZ publication. Limitations or restrictions on sharing data must be reported to the Editor for consideration at the time of submission.

XYZ reserves the right to refuse publication when authors are unwilling to make the underlying data available or otherwise refuse to comply with this Data Policy.

Detailed information describing data or methodology used when the data or methods are new may be presented in one of the following 5 ways: (1) in the main text, (2) in a ‘Materials and Methods’ section in the manuscript, (3) as Supporting information, (4) as an Appendix, and (5) as a short Companion paper. At the time of first publication online, which is usually a few days after acceptance, any companion paper, and all other references, must be available to other scientists. Papers may be held until companion or referenced papers are available.

XYZ requires an explicit statement in the “Acknowledgments” section of a paper that clarifies how users can access the data from a paper (via supplements, repositories, authors, other sources, etc.) and states any restrictions on access.

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