Data availability policy

By publishing in the journal, authors are required to provide a data availability statement in their published articles.

Authors are encouraged to share their data but not required to. If your data will not be made publicly available, the journal requires that any data required to support or replicate claims made in an article should be made available to the journal’s editors, reviewers and readers without undue restriction. 

The decision to accept an article for publication will not be affected by whether or not authors share their research data publicly. 

We encourage you to cite any data referred to in your article (including your own) in your reference list. Please see the section on data citation for more details.

  • Definition of research data
  • Policy exceptions
  • Embargoes
  • Supplementary materials
  • Data repositories
  • Data citation
  • Data licensing
  • Data availability statements
  • Data formats and standards



Definition of research data

This policy applies to the research data that would be required to verify the results of research reported in articles published in the journal. Research data include data produced by the authors (“primary data”) and data from other sources that are analysed by authors in their study (“secondary data”). Research data includes any recorded factual material that are used to produce the results in digital and non-digital form. This includes tabular data, code, images, audio, documents, video, maps, raw and/or processed data.


Policy exceptions

Research data that are not required to verify the results reported in articles are not covered by this policy. This policy does not require public sharing of quantitative or qualitative data that could identify a research participant (“personal data”) unless participants have consented to data release. The policy also does not require public sharing of other sensitive data, such as the locations of endangered species.

Alternatives to public sharing of sensitive or personal data include:

  • Deposition of research data in controlled access repositories
  • Anonymisation or deidentification of data before public sharing
  • Only sharing metadata about the research data
  • Stating the procedures for accessing your research data in your article and managing data access requests from other researchers



Embargoes on data sharing are permitted.

Supplementary materials

Sharing research data as supplementary information files is discouraged.

Data repositories

The preferred mechanism for sharing research data is via data repositories. Authors are encouraged to deposit their research data in a repository that has been widely adopted within their research community but if none is available may use a general data repository.

Examples of general data repositories include:

  • Figshare (
  • Dryad (
  • Harvard Dataverse (
  • Zenodo (

Further repositories can be found via

Data citation

The journal encourages authors to cite any publicly available research data in their reference list. References to datasets (data citations) must include a persistent identifier (such as a DOI). Citations of datasets, when they appear in the reference list, should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite and follow journal style.

Data licensing

The journal encourages research data to be made available under open licenses that permit reuse freely. The journal does not enforce particular licenses for research data, where research data are deposited in third-party repositories. The publisher of the journal does not claim copyright in research data.

Data availability statements

The journal requires authors to include a data availability statement in any articles that report results derived from research data. The provision of a data availability statement will be verified as a condition of publication.

Please note that most of our journals will enable you to select an appropriate data availability statement during the submission process and this will be automatically added to your published article. 

Data availability statements can provide information on where the data supporting the results reported in the article can be found including, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analysed or generated during the study. 

Data availability statements chosen on the submission form will take one of the following forms: 

  1. The data that support the findings of this study are openly available at the following URL/DOI: [insert web link or DOI to the data].
  2. The data that support the findings of this study will be openly available following an embargo at the following URL/DOI: [insert pre-registered web link or DOI to the data].
  3. The data generated and/or analysed during the current study are not publicly available for legal/ethical reasons but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
  4. All data that support the findings of this study are included within the article (and any supplementary information files).
  5. The data that support the findings of this study are available upon reasonable request from the authors.
  6. No new data were created or analysed in this study.

Where research data are not publicly available on legal or ethical grounds, you should select statement #3 and provide further details in the acknowledgments section of any conditions for accessing the data.

If your data will be openly available under more than one DOI/URL then please select statement #1 and include one DOI/URL. Additional DOIs/URLs should be referenced in the acknowledgment section of your manuscript or you can add them to your data availability statement at the proof correction stage. Statements cannot be amended after the publication of the article.

If you intend to make data openly available but do not have a DOI/URL or a pre-registered DOI/URL when you submit your manuscript then please select statement #5 and provide further details in the acknowledgments section of your manuscript about how the data will become accessible.


Data formats and standards

The journal encourages authors to share research data using data formats and standards recognized by their research community. Please see for more information on established data sharing formats and standards.

The journal prefers research data to be shared in open file formats – those that do not require proprietary software to access – where possible. For example, tabular data should be shared as CSV files rather than XLS files.