The Open Access Policy requires that data underlying published research results will be accessible and open immediately.
The following guidelines focus on data underlying published research. Activities around pre-publication data planning, collection, analysis, storage, sovereignty, informed consent, interoperability, and the use of disciplinary standards are addressed at the individual grant and contract level by the grantee and program officer during the proposal stage.
These guidelines are aligned with existing industry best practices, including data availability policies required by several publishers. As new practices emerge, the guidelines will be reviewed and updated as needed.
What is underlying data?
Underlying data encompasses all primary data, associated metadata, and any additional relevant data necessary to understand, assess, and replicate the reported study findings in totality.
Underlying data can be compiled into any file type, including any necessary access instructions, code, or supporting information files, to ensure the file(s) can be accessed and used by others.
Note: We do not require sharing of data that is ethically unsound or legally encumbered.
Why is access to underlying data important?
Providing access to underlying data is key in fulfilling the foundation’s mission of rapid and free exchange of scientific ideas to move humanity forward by improving and saving lives. Without barriers the scientific community can freely benefit from data and build upon each other’s work.
Access to underlying data allows for:
- Barrier-free and timely access to data
- Reassessment of current data interpretations and analysis
- Ability to verify, reproduce, and reuse data in new ways
- Data provenance and preservation
Where should grantees deposit data?
Best practice: Deposit data in a repository already established for your research domain according to the recognized standards of your discipline. Required or suggested repositories are often identified within a journal’s author guidelines.
For further suggestions, see:
When no established repository is available: Deposit data in your institutional research data repository or in a generalist repository, such as:
- Dataverse – an open source web application developed by Harvard University to share, preserve, cite, explore, and analyze research data.
- Dryad – a curated resource that makes the data underlying scientific publications discoverable, freely reusable, and citable.
- Figshare – a repository where users can make all of their research outputs available in a citable, shareable, and discoverable manner.
- Zenodo – a repository developed and hosted by CERN that enables researchers to share and preserve research outputs in any size, any format, and from any science.
How should grantees make data accessible and open?
How does the foundation ensure compliance with this element of the Open Access Policy?
The foundation checks and tracks compliancy through Chronos, a new service to help you manage the process of publishing under the policy’s terms.
How can grantees get support for the process of depositing my underlying data?
Technical assistance and user support is provided by the specific repository; visit their website for further information.
Updated January 1, 2017