Linking publications to data

All publications should enable the reader to get access to the underlying data required to verify the conclusions. You should either:

Cite your data

If you have a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for your dataset(s) and your publisher’s guidelines permit it, the best way to link it to your publication is to include it in the references section in a suitable format. Citing data in this way establishes a two-way link between the publication and the dataset which many discovery and metrics tools will recognise. It also encourages others to cite your data if they reuse it, ensuring you get credit for the work you’ve done.

The recommended format for a data citation is “Creator (PublicationYear): Title. Publisher. Identifier”. For a real dataset, this might look like this: “Irino, T; Tada, R (2009): Chemical and mineral compositions of sediments from ODP Site 127‐797. Geological Institute, University of Tokyo.”.

Data access statements

If a citation isn’t possible, you should include a short paragraph in your publication stating how the data may be obtained and under what conditions or restrictions. Examples include:

  • “Data supporting this publication can be freely downloaded from the University of Sheffield Research Data Repository at<your doi here>, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license.”
  • “Data supporting this publication include personal information, and may be obtained by contacting <group email address> A signed Data Sharing Agreement may be required to comply with patient consent.”
  • “Data supporting this publication are confidential, and can only be supplied by our industrial partner, <name>.”

Note that data must, in most cases, be available for at least 10 years after publication. An individual email address (or “contact the corresponding author”) is therefore unsuitable for handling data requests: a department or research group address should be used instead

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