Research data is the foundation on which scientific, technical and medical knowledge is built, but there are challenges in making it accessible and shareable. In line with the STM Brussels Declaration, Elsevier envisions a future in which data can be easily and effectively stored, shared, discovered and used, in support of researchers and for the advancement of science and health. However, there are challenges in making research data accessible and shareable. We have developed our research data policy to address these challenges and will continue to actively support further industry development of technical solutions, best practices and guidelines.
The following principles underpin Elsevier's data policy:
- Research data should be made available free of charge to all researchers wherever possible and with minimal reuse restrictions.
- Researchers invest substantially to create and interpret data and others such as data archives, publishers, funders and institutions further add value and/or incur significant cost. In all such cases these contributions need to be recognized and valued.
- Expectations and practices around research data vary between disciplines and need to be taken into account.
- Platforms, publications, tools and services can enhance data by improving their discoverability, use, reuse, and citation.
- Standard identifiers, vocabularies, taxonomies, ontologies and entity resources enhance the discovery, management and use of data.
The precise notion of what constitutes research data will differ from field to field but broadly speaking it refers to the result of observations or experimentation that are necessary to validate research findings. Research data can include but are not limited to: raw data, processed data, software, algorithms, protocols, methods, materials. Research data do not include text in manuscript or final published article form, nor do they include data or other materials submitted and published as part of a journal article. For further information on this, and on our policy more generally, please see our research data FAQs here.
Expectations and resources for data curation and use vary across the broad range of academic disciplines. Mindful of and sensitive to these differences, we will:
- Encourage and support researchers and research institutions to share data where appropriate and at the earliest opportunity.
- Provide guidance to authors regarding the deposit and sharing of data.
- Encourage and enable two-way linking of relevant datasets and publications using permanent standard identifiers.
- Encourage and support proper data citation practices so that researchers can be cited and credited for their work.
- Work closely with the scientific community to establish data review practices to ensure that published research data is valid, properly documented and can be re-used.
- Develop tools and services to support researchers to discover, use and reuse data to further their research.