Authors : Antti M. Rousi, Mikael Laakso
The practices for if and how scholarly journals instruct research data for published research to be shared is an area where a lot of changes have been happening as science policy moves towards facilitating open science, and subject-specific repositories and practices are established.
This study provides an analysis of the research data sharing policies of highly-cited journals in the fields of neuroscience, physics, and operations research as of May 2019. For these 120 journals, 40 journals per subject category, a unified policy coding framework was developed to capture the most central elements of each policy, i.e. what, when, and where research data is instructed to be shared.
The results affirm that considerable differences between research fields remain when it comes to policy existence, strength, and specificity. The findings revealed that one of the most important factors influencing the dimensions of what, where and when of research data policies was whether the journal’s scope included specific data types related to life sciences which have established methods of sharing through community-endorsed public repositories.
The findings surface the future research potential of approaching policy analysis on the publisher-level as well as on the journal-level. The collected data and coding framework is provided as open data to facilitate future research and journal policy monitoring.