My Publisher wants my Data?!

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Ready to submit your article to your favorite journal? Don’t be surprised if the editor requires not only your manuscript, tables, and figures, but also your data. More and more, publishers require that you make the data related to your manuscript publically available upon publication of your article.

What’s going on? The desire to make scientific research more rigorous and reproducible has led to efforts to increase the availability of research data. Publishers such as PLOS and Nature have responded to this cause by developing policies around data availability. Their guidelines describe not only the requirements, e.g. “to make all data underlying the findings described in their manuscript fully available without restriction, with rare exception” (PLOS One), but also the steps authors must take to comply. These requirements are becoming more and more commonplace in author agreements.

Funders, too?!? Federal and private funders also often require data sharing. To ensure data availability at the conclusion of sponsored research, many funders require a data management or data sharing plan to be submitted with the grant application. Plans must typically address topics such as what data outputs will the research generate, when will the data be shared and where will the data be made available.

What do I do? If you need a data management plan for a grant, a data availability statement for a journal, are ready to share your data, or anywhere in between, your Health Sciences librarians are here to help. We have expertise in crafting these agreements and are knowledgeable about tools to help guide the process. In addition, when it comes time to make your data available, we can help guide you to repositories that are free and meet publisher and funder requirements, including UVA’s own Libra Data, a local instance of Dataverse (read more about Libra Data).

So when your publisher or your funder wants your data, contact HSL’s Research & Data Services at  We’ll provide expert guidance, making the process efficient and complete.

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