What research data do journals expect me to share?

Find out more about which parts of your research data your chosen journal may expect you to share.

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When you are getting ready to publish a research article, you may find that your chosen journal has a policy which requires that you make your research data available to other researchers, for example by depositing them in a suitable data repository. Your research data can take many forms, and you might produce different kinds of data and different versions of datasets as your research progresses. So what data do you need to share?

Let’s start with some definitions. Firstly, what are research data? Research data include any recorded factual material that is used to produce your results. This could be in digital and non-digital form, and includes tabular data, code, images, audio, documents, video, maps, raw and/or processed data. There are some more examples here.

So, what research data do you need to share? At Springer Nature the data sharing policies of our journals normally concern the minimal dataset that supports the central findings of a published study. For example if your research surveyed a population over a number of years, but your paper focused on a subset of the data you had collected, you would only be expected to share the part of the dataset that underpinned your published paper.

Do you have a question about research data? 
Get free help and advice on sharing your research data: visit our research data help desk. 

Read more:
What are research data?

Photograph by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash.

Rebecca Grant

Research Data Manager, Springer Nature

I am Springer Nature's Research Data Manager, having previously worked as digital archivist at national public institutions and a national repository in Ireland. I have a background in the humanities, and I am currently undertaking a part-time PhD which is investigating the connections between archival science and research data management. My main areas of interest are in best practices and standards in data management, with a focus on digital preservation. I am also qualified in project management and Open Data training, and I will be contributing to training and guidance for authors and editors in the next year.

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