Research at Risk

Making sense of journal data policies

From the Jord project onwards, Jisc have been aware of the difficulties that an unclear data policy presents when selecting a suitable journal for publication, and in complying with journal requirements once a journal has been selected. We have found that data policies are deeply idiosyncratic and often express similar ideas and processes in very different ways. There is a clear benefit to a more standardised approach for researchers and research support staff, in making it easier to publish data alongside a traditional publication whilst adhering to funder requirements, disciplinary norms and institutional policies. Greater standardisation could also allow us to construct a register of data policies, as we do for funder and publisher policies on open access.

A one day Jisc workshop on the 26th January will feed in to a Research Data Alliance grouping of publishers developing means to standardise journal research data policies. We are committed to ensuring that the needs of the sector are represented in developments, and Jisc (as group co-chairs) will be instrumental in ensuring that the needs of institutional research support staff are fed in to discussions.

The RDA group draws on some of the work of the Data Citation Implementation Pilot, and on the work of Springer Nature to standardise to four templates across their stable of more than 3,000 journals. The event will examine the utility of the Springer Nature templates alongside other well-used data policies – seeking to establish what features a genuinely useful journal research data policy needs to have.

What we want to achieve from this workshop (and others as needed) is to understand better the issues that the sector faces regarding journal data policies, to be able to identify good and bad aspects of a range of journal data policies, and to begin to imagine what an “ideal” policy will look like.

This will be a small, invite-only, meeting on January 26th in London. I have already issued a number of invites I have identified via existing networks but would be willing to issue a small number of additional invites to individuals who:

  • Work regularly with journal research data policies as a part of a research support role, or
  • Publish data alongside their own research, or
  • Have other unique insights into this issue from a sector (not a publisher or policy) perspective.

Please email if you are interested in being invited – I have a few spaces left. If demand is high I will run additional workshops on a later date.

By dkernohan

Senior co-design manager, Jisc.