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Archiving and sharing data: Data access statements

Guide on archiving research data and making your data available to other researchers

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On this page you will find information on why and where to provide data access statements, what to include in your data access statement, and examples of data access statements for different data sharing scenarios.

About data access statements

Data access statements, also known as data availability statements, are used in publications to describe where the data directly underpinning the publication can be found and under what conditions they can be accessed.  They are required for all publications arising from publicly-funded research, are a requirement of many funders' data policies, and the RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy  and as a requirement of the University's Research Data Policy.

Where to provide the data access statement

Some journals now provide a separate section in papers for the data access statement. Where no section is specified, we suggest that you provide the data access statement in the acknowledgements section. 

You can also include a formal data citation can also be included with the main references or in a specified data citation section. 

What to include in your Data Access Statement

Many journals will no longer accept a statement that the data is available upon request from the author and will expect more permanent data sharing solutions to be provided in the data access statement. Unless your datasets are very large, or highly restricted, you should consider submitting your data, or information on how to access third party data,  to a research data archive / repository which will provide you with a persistent identifier for your data (Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or accession number).

Openly available data

  • The name(s) of the repositories / archives that the dataset(s) managing the dataset(s);
  • The persistent identifier for your dataset.

Data subject to access restrictions

  • Justification for the data being subject to access restrictions (for example, ethical, legal or commercial sensitivity);
  • Information on arrangements for accessing the data, including the persistent identifier to the dataset, or a statement that the data are not accessible;
  • If you have used secondary or third party data information the data source should be credited;
  • If you have used secondary or third party data you can provide information on how the data were accessed. 

You should submit a Data Access Statement with your manuscript even if the persistent identifiers to your dataset have not yet been issued. 

Data Access Statements can also be combined with formal data citations, particularly when a publication is supported by multiple datasets in different locations. 

Data access statements for clinical trials (International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, ICMJE) 

Some journals will require that your data access statements meets the ICMJE requirements. These are available here: http://www.icmje.org/news-and-editorials/data_sharing_june_2017.pdf

Examples of Data Access Statements

Please note that the DOIs in these examples are not genuine. 

"All data created during this research is openly available from the University of Bath Research Data Archive at [insert DOI here]."

"All data supporting this study is provided as supplementary information accompanying this paper."

"All data is provided in full in the results section of this paper."

"Expression data is openly available from ArrayExpress (Accession E-MTAB-01234 at https://www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress/experijments/E-MTAB-01234). Crystal structures are available from the Cambridge Crystollagraphic Data Centre (identifier BATHRS) at [insert DOI here]. Microscopy images are openly available from Dryad at [insert DOI here]."

Please note that the DOIs in these examples are not genuine. 

You can cite multiple datasets within the references section of the paper as you can cite data as you would a paper. You can also make a single archive record that has links to all of the datasets used for the publication (if they are archived in different locations). 

"This publication is supported by multiple datasets, which are openly available at locations cited in the reference section."

"Expression data is openly available from ArrayExpress (Accession E-MTAB-01234 at https://www.ebi.ac.uk/arrayexpress/experijments/E-MTAB-01234). Crystal structures are available from the Cambridge Crystollagraphic Data Centre (identifier BATHRS) at [insert DOI here]. Microscopy images are openly available from Dryad at [insert DOI here]."

Please note that the DOIs in these examples are not genuine. 

If you are using secondary data or data owned by a third party you are unlikely to be able to archive or share the raw data. When using secondary data you should provide information on the sources of the data and access arrangements. If you are using numerous data sources you should consider archiving a document that summarises all of the data sources and access arrangements, along with information about your data processing methods. 

"This study was a re-analysis of existing data, which is openly available at locations cited in the reference section. Further documentation about data processing are available at the University of Bath Research Data Archive at [insert DOI here]."

"This study brought together existing data obtained upon request and subject to licence restrictions from a number of different sources. Full details of how these datasets were obtained are available in the documentation available at [insert DOI here]."

Please note that the DOIs in these examples are not genuine. 

If there are legal or ethical justifications for not sharing your data openly you should provide this justification in your Data Access Statement and give information about whether the data is completely restricted, or whether it can be accessed under certain conditions. 

"Anonymised interview transcripts from participants who consented to data sharing, plus other supporting information from the UK Data Service, subject to registration, at [insert DOI here]."

"Due to ethical concerns, supporting data cannot be made openly available. Further information about the data and conditions for access are available at the University of Bath Research Data Archive:  [insert DOI here]."

"Due to the (commercially, politically, ethically) sensitive nature of the research, no interviewees consented to their data being retained or shared. Additional details relating to other aspects of the data are available from the University of Bath Research Data Archive: [insert DOI here]."

"Supporting data are available to bona fide researchers, subject to registration, from the UK Data Service at [insert DOI here]."

 

Please note that the DOIs in these examples are not genuine. 

If you have non-disclosure agreements, patents pending, or other contractual restrictions on sharing your data you should give this information in the Data Access Statement.

"Supporting data will be available from the University of Bath Research Data Archive at [insert DOI here] after a six-month embargo period from the date of publication to allow for commercialisation of the research findings."

"Due to confidentiality agreements with research collaborators, supporting data can only be made available to bona fide researchers subject to a non-disclosure agreement. Details of the data and how to request access are available at the University of Bath Research Data Archive at [insert DOI here]."

 

Please note that the DOIs in these examples are not genuine. 

Consider digitising non-digital data for preservation if possible. If this is not possible the location of the non-digital data should be included in the Data Access Statement. You can still make a Pure record for your non-digital as well as your digital data and have a data archive record with a corresponding DOI that can be shared in your statement.

"Non-digital data supporting this study are stored by the corresponding author at the University of Bath. Details of how to access these data are provided in the documentation available at the University of Bath Research Data Archive at [insert DOI here]."

If you have not used secondary data sources and have not created new data but need to provide a Data Access Statement you can provide the following wording: "No new data were created during the study."

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