Scientific Data launches with first Data Descriptors

Scientific Data launches with first Data Descriptors

Open access publication Scientific Data has launched online today, publishing its first eight Data Descriptors across fields including neuroscience, ecology and epidemiology. Scientific Data is the latest open research initiative from Nature Publishing Group.

Oxford e-Research Centre’s Susanna-Assunta Sansone is the Honorary Academic Editor of Scientific Data . She and the in-house team work closely with an Advisory Panel of senior scientists, data repository representatives, bio-curators, librarians, and funders who guide the policies, standards, and editorial scope.

Data Descriptors, Scientific Data’s article type, are peer-reviewed, scientific publications that provide detailed descriptions of experimental and observational datasets, designed to maximize reuse and enable searching, linking and data mining.

Sam Burridge, Managing Director Open Research Nature Publishing Group said: “The content we’re publishing today ranges from the Data Descriptor for a citizen science project chronicling global reef fish communities, to a descriptor for the most comprehensive database of confirmed human dengue infection to date. It is our hope Scientific Data will enable academics to make their research data more discoverable, reusable, citable and reproducible.”

Scientific Data  gives credit, through a citable publication, for sharing research data in a way that enables reuse, discoverability and understanding of the dataset. Data Descriptors are accessible and searchable via the  Scientific Data  online platform, under a Creative Commons license. The data files are stored in one or more public, community-recognized data storage systems. 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 Data Descriptors are open access and free to access at point of publication.

Susanna-Assunta Sansone explains “Hypothesis and discoveries are mainly shared via traditional journal articles. But if you want to be able to reuse the data which underpin the results, that’s when the difficulty comes.

Scientific Data focuses on the data which is fundamental to scientific discourse, introducing a new content type. The Data Descriptor has been designed to provide detailed descriptions of experimental and observational datasets, including the methods used to collect the data and technical analyses supporting the quality of the measurement. The descriptor has a narrative component, complemented by a semantically structured machine readable one; it references the traditional article and citing data files, deposited in appropriate community databases.  Scientific Data has been designed to become an integral part of the data sharing ecosystem, providing added value descriptions of valuable datasets.”

The Data Descriptors published today can be found here

Blogs by Scientific Data editorial board members can be found here