How are BMC Series authors gaining credit for their research data?

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As a pioneer of open access and open science, BMC is committed to continual innovation, ensuring research integrity and championing the benefits of open research. The BMC Series, part of the evolving BMC portfolio, is a collection of journals that are passionate about open data and data sharing covering all scientific and clinical disciplines. 

To celebrate the BMC Series achievements and commitment to data sharing, a cross-journal article collection was created. It shows different ways authors shared their data and gained credit, and highlights examples across the different disciplines. All building on the BMC’s history of promoting data sharing. 

In 2011, BMC implemented a policy on the “Availability of supporting data” that  required or encouraged authors to include a relevant description in their submitted manuscript. By 2016, this policy was standardised across all of the BMC journals and an ‘Availability of data and materials’ section became mandatory (read the blog here). Today, BMC Series mandates data deposition where community-established norms for data sharing exist such as in the genomics field, and encourages authors to share their data in the other fields (see our editorial policies). For advice on writing good data availability statements, check out this recent post by Tristan Matthews, an Assistant Research Data Editor at Springer Nature. 

In addition, since 2013 BMC has used a CC0 policy on the licensing of open data with one aim being to maximize the potential for reuse of published science. Open data can increase the trustworthiness of a manuscript, as well as advance discoveries and makes sharing and citing easier. 

With calls for data sharing intensifying, and research data being considered the foundations of reliable and reproducible science, the BMC Series introduced specialized article types, such as Databases and Data Notes, to provide the community with options for data-specific publications. 

BMC Research Notes was the first journal to launch Data Notes, short data descriptors, within the BMC Series back in 2017, and last year we celebrated the publication of the 100th Data Note in this journal. The re-launch of BMC Genetics as BMC Genomic Data introduced a second journal at the BMC Series to adopt Data Notes, responding to researchers’ needs in the genetics and genomics community.

Image © Maksim Kabakou

Tamara Hughes

Editor , BMC series

I have a strong chemistry and biochemistry background and received my BSc and MSc in Chemistry from the University of Cologne, with a six-month research visit at the University of California, Riverside. In 2018, I obtained a PhD from the University of York, focusing on enzymology, industrial biocatalysis and structural biology. Before joining BMC series in October 2019, I worked as a Scientific and Deputy Managing Editor at an Oncology and Molecular Medicine academic publisher.