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Research Data Sharing FAQs

What is ‘research data’?
Why is open research data important?
How do I find the research data policy for the journal I am submitting to?
What license terms can I use for my research data?
I have an ethical, legal, or commercial concern about sharing my data, what should I do?
How do I share my research data in a repository?
How do I use this service as a Sage journal author?
What file formats can be accepted?
What is a Data Availability Statement and how do I write and submit one?
How do I cite a data set?
I am submitting to a double anonymize peer review journal, what do I do with my data?
What are Open Science Framework Open Practice Badges?
What is Code Ocean?

 

What is ‘research data’?

‘Research data’ refers to units of information collected, observed, generated, or created to validate original research findings. Data may be numerical, descriptive, aural, or visual. Research data varies widely in format across disciplines, and can be anything from spreadsheets of quantifiable information, to qualitative information like interview data or field notes. Read a list of examples of qualitative data.

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Why is open research data important?

  • Open data sharing enables others to reuse results and build on previous findings, to improve efficiencies of the research process, and to drive a faster pace of research and discovery.
  • Open Data supports transparency and validation of research. By ensuring that the data behind published research can be reproduced, this leads to a fairer, more robust, and more accountable research landscape.
  • Ease of access and ease of discoverability means that there are more opportunities to find and extract knowledge.
  • Depositing data in a repository with a permanent identifier such as a DOI allows authors to cite the dataset, allowing authors to gain appropriate credit for their work, and ensures long term preservation of data.

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How do I find the research data policy for the journal I am submitting to?

Sage journals vary in their approach to, and requirements on research data sharing. The majority of Sage journals follow a minimum standard which encourages authors, where relevant, and subject to ethical and legal considerations, to openly share, cite, and link to their research data.

The majority of journals will follow one of the guidelines from the framework.

Please check the Submission Guidelines for the journal you wish to submit to for the appropriate research data sharing policy, and check any funder requirements. Submission Guidelines can be found on the homepage of your chosen journal by selecting ‘submit paper’.

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What license terms can I use for my research data?

For journals that do not have mandated requirements for data sharing in place, authors have the option to choose the basis on which they make their data available to others to access and to reuse. An open access license that enables the maximum potential for reuse is usually preferred for research data (typically CC0 or CC BY or equivalent), and this is encouraged.

Share upon reasonable request – rather than posting their data in a repository the author can include a Data Availability Statement and indicate the terms upon which data can be requested and accessed from the author.

Share with restrictions on reuse – authors can make their data available but under a restrictive license of their choice. Links to the data should still be included via a Data Availability Statement.

Open data – the author makes their data available on an open access basis permitting reuse and includes links in the Data Availability Statement. An open access license that enables the maximum potential for reuse is usually preferred for data (typically CC0 or CC BY or equivalent).

Where research data is held in repositories, the choice of license may be determined by the terms of the repository. Some journals or funders may mandate that authors make their data freely accessible to the public under a specific open access license.

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I have an ethical, legal, or commercial concern about sharing my data, what should I do?

Sage research data polices are all subject to ethical and legal considerations.

For example, there is no requirement to publicly share quantitative or qualitative data that could identify a research participant unless participants have consented to data release. Policies also do not require public sharing of other sensitive data, such as the locations of endangered species.

Alternatives to public sharing of sensitive, commercial, or personal data include:

  • Deposition of research data in controlled access repositories (examples include Figshare, Zenodo, and OSF)
  • Anonymization 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
  • Using hybrid methods, e.g., releasing a redacted dataset for general use but providing access to more sensitive data through a user contract or data enclave.

If you are submitting to a journal that requires data sharing and you have concerns or have an embargo on your data, raise this with the journal editorial office at submission or pre submission stage.

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How do I share my research data in a repository?

The preferred mechanism for sharing research data is via data repositories. Authors can use Repository Finder, FAIRsharing, and re3data.org to search for a suitable repository. Research data should be submitted to discipline-specific, community-recognised repositories where possible, or to general-purpose repositories, if no suitable community resource is available. We encourage authors to select a data repository that issues a persistent identifier, preferably a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), and has established a robust preservation plan to ensure the data is preserved in perpetuity.

If you share your research data on a repository please provide a URL link to your research data in your manuscript file under the heading ‘Data Availability Statement’, this URL link will be added to your article on publication. For more information, please go to What is a Data Availability Statement and how do I write and submit one? below.

Sage partnership with the Figshare Data Repository

A number of Sage journals participate in a partnership with Figshare, an open repository of research data, whereby Sage automatically archives your research data when you choose to submit this alongside your article, within the existing manuscript submission workflow.

All research datasets submitted will be assigned a DOI upon submission to Figshare to ensure the dataset is discoverable and citable. The dataset will also be displayed in a widget powered by Figshare next to the article on Sage Journals and will be available on the Figshare platform.

If your article is accepted, your accompanying research data will be published on the Figshare repository platform with a CC BY license, permitting unrestricted use of your data.

This is an optional service, and authors are not required to use this workflow for their research data and can use other repositories if they prefer.

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How do I use this service as a Sage journal author?

If available at the journal level, authors will have the option to upload their research data during submission to the individual journal SageTrack site. Authors have the option to upload their data at any submission or revision stage in the SageTrack site. Please choose ‘Research Data’ as a file type from the file upload options.

Please supply a title and description for all research data items supplied. These can be included in a separate word document upon submission. If a title and description is not supplied the following title and description will be used: Title – “[File name] – Research Data for [Article title]”; Description – “Research Data, [File name], for [Article Title] by [Author names] in [Journal Title]”. The title and description will appear on Sage Journals and also on the record in Figshare and will aid discoverability of the research data online.

If you have problems or concerns with uploading your research data to the Sage journal when you submit your manuscript, please contact the individual journal editorial office.

Research data files will be uploaded online on publication as supplied. They will not be checked for accuracy, copyedited, typeset, or proofread. The responsibility for scientific accuracy and file functionality remains with the authors. A disclaimer will be displayed to this effect with any material published. Sage does not provide technical support for the publication of research data.

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What file formats can be accepted?

Sage encourages authors to share research data using data and metadata formats and standards recognized by their research community. Please see FAIRsharing.org for more information on established data sharing formats and standards.

Research data should ideally 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.

Read information on all accepted file formats

Please note that zip files can be hosted on the Figshare platform, but they will not appear in the Figshare widget which appears on Sage Journals. There will simply be a link to the zip file hosted on Figshare.

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What is a Data Availability Statement and how do I write and submit one?

We encourage authors to include in any articles that report results derived from research data to include a Data Availability Statement (DAS). A DAS should include information on where data supporting the results reported in the article can be found including, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analyzed or generated during the study. Where research data are not publicly available, this must be stated along with any conditions for accessing the data. A DAS must take one of the following forms (or a combination of more than one if required for multiple types of research data):

  • The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available in the [NAME] repository, [PERSISTENT WEB LINK TO DATASETS]

  • The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are not publicly available due [REASON WHY DATA ARE NOT PUBLIC] but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

  • The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.

  • Data sharing not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analyzed during the current study.

  • All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article [and its supplementary information files].

  • The data that support the findings of this study are available from [third party name] but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study, and so are not publicly available. Data are however available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of [third party name].

In most cases authors will be prompted to include a DAS as part of the online submission process to their chosen journal. If you are not, please include the DAS in your manuscript file under the heading ‘Data Availability Statement’ as part of the end matter of your article.

Authors choosing to utilize the Sage partnership with Figshare should write their statement, and indicate that they have uploaded the file(s) to Sage. The Sage production editor will then add a link to the research data during the production stages, which authors should carefully check when reviewing proofs.

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How do I cite a data set?

Where datasets are hosted in public repositories that provide datasets with Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), we encourage these datasets to be formally cited in reference lists. Citations of datasets, when they appear in the reference list, should include the minimum information recommended by DataCite and follow journal style.

DataCite recommended format for data citation is as follows:

Creator (PublicationYear). Title. Publisher. Identifier (if available)

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I am submitting to a double anonymize peer review journal, what do I do with my data?

If the journal you are submitting to is double anonymize and requires links to the data to be shared at submission, the data should be deposited in a repository that preserves your anonymity by anonymizing the names of the authors. The data can then be viewed anonymously during the peer review process.

Figshare is a repository that can be used to generate a ‘private sharing link’ for free which can be sent via email, and which you can add to your manuscript. The recipient can then access that data without having a Figshare account, and this link anonymizes the data for reviewers. These links expire after one year and should not be cited in publications.

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What are Open Science Framework Open Practice Badges?

In an effort to increase transparency and reproducibility, Open Science Framework (OSF) introduced badges that can be added to articles to indicate to readers (1) if the paper has open data (2) if the paper has open materials and (3) if the study was preregistered. Authors can be awarded any, or all, of the three badges as long as they meet set criteria. Badges are visible on the article and on the table of contents, both online and (optionally) in print.

  1. Open Data: All digitally shareable data necessary to reproduce the reported results have been made available in a public, open access repository.
  2. Open MaterialsOpen Material Logo: All digitally shareable materials necessary to reproduce the reported methodology have been made available in a public, open-access repository.
  3. PreregisteredPreregistered Logo: The design and analysis plan for the reported research were preregistered in a public, open-access repository. TC (Transparent Changes) indicates that the analysis plan was altered but the preregistered analyses and rationale for change have been provided; DE (Data Exist) indicates that registration postdates realization of the outcomes but predates analysis. These will be denoted with superscript letters after the badge.

Some Sage journals use badges to demonstrate compliance with Open Data policies; please refer to individual journal manuscript guidelines. For more information on the criteria for these badges please refer to the Open Science Framework website.

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What is Code Ocean?

A select group of journals at Sage run a trial with Code Ocean.

Code Ocean is a cloud-based computational reproducibility platform that provides authors with an easy way to share code associated with their research. Code Ocean supports a number of different programming languages and assigns a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to the computational environment (code and data) providing correct attribution and a direct connection to the published research in the journal.

This allows authors to get more visibility for their work by giving them the option to upload the code associated to their published article so that readers can view and execute it. The platform, which is based on Docker, hosts the code and data in the necessary computational environment and allows users to re-run the analysis in the cloud and reproduce the results, bypassing the need to install the software.

The following group of journals at Sage run a trial with Code Ocean:

Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science
American Politics Research
Applied Psychological Measurement
International Journal of Robotics Research
Journal of Peace Research
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Sage Open

If you are a prospective author for one of these journals, or already have an article in submission, then get started by following the link and instructions below:

  • Go to Code Ocean, sign up, and select ‘create new capsule’. You will be prompted to upload your code and data, specifying the appropriate languages and dependencies within the computational environment, to create the “compute capsule”. If you have multiple sets of code and data, upload these simultaneously, and they can all be linked to your article. Code Ocean provides a service to assist authors with their platform if required, and this includes chat and email. There is also a help page for more information..
  • You will be asked to provide the associated article title and select the journal you are publishing in.
  • The Code Ocean team verifies that the code works and will instruct Sage that the code is available and confirm the DOI. Sage will then ensure that there is a direct link to the code from the published article on the Sage Journals website. Similarly, Code Ocean will link direct to the research article in the journal once this is published, from the code.
  • If you have questions relating to the linking of your Sage journal article to code available on the Code Ocean site, please email the Sage production editor, who will first contact you during the article proofing process.

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