Helping scientists publish and reuse research data

Helping scientists publish and reuse research data

Oxford e-Research Centre member Susanna-Assunta Sansone has been appointed Honorary Academic Editor of Scientific Data, a new open-access, online-only platform for the publication of descriptions of scientifically valuable datasets, to be launched by Nature Publishing Group (NPG) in Spring 2014.

Initially focusing on experimental datasets from the life, biomedical and environmental science communities with future plans to expand to other fields in other sciences, Scientific Data will introduce and publish a new type of content called Data Descriptors: peer-reviewed, scientific publications that provide detailed descriptions of experimental and observational datasets.  Data Descriptors will be a combination of traditional scientific publication content and structured information curated in-house, and are designed to maximize reuse and enable searching, linking and data mining. Data Descriptors may be associated with articles from a broad range of journals.

“Over recent years researchers, funders and learned societies alike have been calling for new ways to make scientific research and research data more available, reusable and reproducible,” says Jason Wilde, Nature Publishing Group Business Development Director. “Scientific Data’s central mission is to help foster the sharing and re-use of the data underpinning scientific research.”

“Scientific Data will allow for the formal peer-review, publication and citation of data sets and will provide a real opportunity to promote open data and promote the re-use of data held by NERC and other research organizations,” says Mark Thorley, Head of Science Information at the Natural Environment Research Council and Chair of the Research Councils UK Research Outputs Network.

Scientific Data gives credit through a citable publication, for depositing and sharing research data. Data Description will be accessible and searchable via the Scientific Data online data platform, under a Creative Commons license; the actual data files will be stored in one or more public, community-recognized systems. The full release of Data Description and associated data will be verified as part of the peer-review process. Where a community recognized repository does not exist, Scientific Data supports the deposit of the data into a more general repository such as Dryad and Figshare. All accepted data descriptors will be published on payment of an article-processing charge (APC) that will also cover the Data Description curation process.

Honorary Academic Editor Susanna-Assunta Sansone, Associate Director and Principal Investigator at the Oxford e-Research Centre, has worked with the NPG team to define the Data Description’s concept that leverages on community-developed and Oxford led ISA framework. She will work closely with the Advisory Panel who guides the policies, standards, and editorial scope and is comprised of senior scientists, data repository representatives, bio- curators, funders and librarians - including Wolfram Horstmann, Associate Director for Digital Library Programmes & IT at The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford.

“The ongoing conversation around data curation, sharing and publication has become increasingly exciting as various organisations have moved to encourage and in some cases support the sharing and reuse of data in context,” says Sansone. “To inform the internal development of Scientific Data, I will continue to stay abreast of the fast-paced fields of data management and scholarly communication.”

Links:

Scientific Data Website: http://www.nature.com/scientificdata/

Blog Post from Susanna-Assunta Sansone: http://blogs.nature.com/scientificdata/2013/04/03/if-not-now-then-when-m... within/

ISA Framework: http://isacommons.org/

About Nature Publishing Group (NPG)

Nature Publishing Group (NPG) is a publisher of high impact scientific and medical information in print and online. NPG publishes journals, online databases and services across the life, physical, chemical and applied sciences and clinical medicine.

Focusing on the needs of scientists, Nature (founded in 1869) is the leading weekly, international scientific journal. In addition, for this audience, NPG publishes a range of Nature research journals and Nature Reviews journals, plus a range of prestigious academic journals including society-owned publications. Online, nature.com provides over 6 million visitors per month with access to NPG publications and online databases and services, including news and comment from Nature, NatureJobs plus access to Nature Network and Nature Education's Scitable.com.

Scientific American is at the heart of NPG's consumer media division, meeting the needs of the general public. Founded in 1845, Scientific American is the oldest continuously published magazine in the US and the leading authoritative publication for science in the general media. Together with scientificamerican.com and 14 local language editions around the world it reaches over 5 million consumers and scientists. Other titles include Scientific American Mind and Spektrum der Wissenschaft in Germany.

Throughout all its businesses NPG is dedicated to serving the scientific and medical communities and the wider scientifically interested general public. Part of Macmillan Publishers Limited, NPG is a global company with principal offices in London, New York and Tokyo, and offices in cities worldwide including Boston, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Delhi, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Madrid, Barcelona, Munich, Heidelberg, Basingstoke, Melbourne, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul and Washington DC. For more information, please go to www.nature.com.