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Medical & health Thing 5: What are publishers and funders saying about data?


Data sharing policies are becoming increasingly common in Australia and internationally. Learn why research funders and journal publishers are particularly influential when it comes to encouraging data availability.

Learn about new journal data policies

More and more journal publishers are asking authors to make the data underpinning a journal article available. It’s all about ensuring that the research being described in the article is based on solid, reproducible science. Thinking back to Thing 3: Data Sharing and discovery Activity 2, remember  that available can be 'open' or 'shared' through mediated/controlled access.

publishers with data policies

  1. Choose one of the links below to explore some of these policies
    1. PLOS Medicine data policy, which also specifies preferred locations for the data.
    2. The British Medical Journal data policy (click on ‘Data sharing’).
    3. Annals of Internal Medicine data policy
  2. Read this blog post Promoting research data sharing at Springer Nature about the 4 levels of research data sharing policies. Spend a bit of time clicking the links near the bottom of the post: FAQs, policies in full, list of trusted data repositories, preparing Data Availability Statements.

Consider how easy, or hard, it was for you to understand what is required upon submission to one of these journals in regard to research data.

Data sharing policies of major medical funders

The Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded more than $896 million in 2015 for health and medical research including 1030 new grants to universities, medical research institutions and hospitals across Australia.

  1. Quickly review the NHMRC Open Access Policy (Section 4.2 and Appendix 2) and lifecycle diagram for data sharing we saw in Thing 1.
  2. International collaborations are increasingly common in our ever-connected world. Researchers in Australia are involved in projects funded by overseas bodies. Choose one of these major international funders of research and have a look at their data sharing policy:

Now imagine it is 2020… consider what you think Australian research funders will be requiring of researchers who are seeking project funding.

If you have time, explore the statement supporting rapid data release of genomics data to the scientific community from the International Cancer Genome Consortium.

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