Helping institutions understand how researchers are sharing their data

To help institutions and libraries understand if and how researchers are sharing data associated with their publications we’ve introduced a new service, Data availability reporting.

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Nov 19, 2018


More than 80 research funding agencies globally now have a research data policy. Research institutions are often responsible for implementing funder policies, and need to demonstrate compliance with these policies. Institutions also support researchers in multiple disciplines publishing in many different journals - and the practices, expectations and methods for sharing research data vary greatly by discipline.

This can make tracking the research data outputs of researchers and monitoring of research data policy compliance difficult, and time consuming. Librarians have told us they sometimes resort to custom searching, and manual reading of papers from researchers at their institute, to find information about research data availability. This activity is particularly important where, such as under the UK Research Councils data policies, funder policies require researchers to include statements about data availability in their publications. Data availability (accessibility) statements are getting more attention from funders, and publishers, as a practical tool for implementing research data policies.

Data availability reporting and how it can help

Our Data availability reporting service provides institutions with curated and easy-to-understand information on how researchers at their organisation are sharing data associated with articles published in Springer Nature journals. The reports will save research support staff at institutions time in understanding data policy compliance, helping to identify trends, and will include rich information from Springer Nature’s internal databases.

We combine programmatic extraction of article text and metadata, with human editing and curation to provide a bespoke report for each institution per calendar year. The reports cover all Springer Nature journals, for subscription and open access articles.

The reports include two main components:

  1. a summary document including graphs of key figures, tables and an executive summary

  2. the underlying data file - so institutions can conduct their own analyses and populate institutional data catalogues


  • Quantifies how researchers are sharing data associated with Springer Nature publications

  • Identifies the most common data repositories used

  • Finds the journals most likely to report data availability

  • Includes available funding/grant information for each article

  • Institution names and synonym matching using the Global Research Identifier (GRID) system

  • Professionally designed, customised report per institution per year

  • Curated data file, including the full text of articles’ data availability statements

See a sample of the report document here.

Institutions interested in discussing Data availability reporting should contact their local Springer Nature Institutional Engagement Manager. We’re looking forward to feedback on this new service.

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Iain Hrynaszkiewicz

Head of Data Publishing, Springer Nature

Iain Hrynaszkiewicz is Head of Data Publishing at Springer Nature where his team develop research data policies and services across Springer Nature. He is also publisher of Nature Research Group’s Scientific Data journal. He leads and contributes to community initiatives and working groups on data sharing and reproducible research and is Programme Chair of the conference, Better Science through Better Data. He has published numerous articles related to data sharing, open access, and open data - one of which has been cited more than 170 times.

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