Research Elements

Publish data, software and methods in brief, citable articles

Some elements of the research cycle deserve more attention than they usually get in traditional journals.

Think data, software, materials and methods – what happens to these when a research project is finished?

Now researchers can get credit for these important parts of their research. Research Elements are new peer-reviewed article formats that focus on single elements of the research cycle: data, software, and materials and methods. Readers can easily find and cite new types of information to apply to their research and reproduce results, keeping the whole research cycle alive.

    Research Elements articles:

    • Are complementary to original research articles
    • Are easy to prepare and submit
    • Are peer-reviewed and will be indexed
    • Enable other researchers to cite and re-use information
    • Make new types of information discoverable
    • Have a quick and transparent editorial process

    Research Elements | Publish more of your research process

    Research Elements can be applicable to multiple research areas; a number of multidisciplinary journals welcome submissions from a large number of subject areas. Sometimes these elements belong within a single field, so a number of journals support the new article formats within the scope of a specific discipline.

    Research Elements make it possible to share the essential details of research without spending time writing up a full traditional paper. All authors need to do is provide contextual information on the relevant data set, method, software code or other element to the participating journal of their choice. More information about submitting a Research Elements article can be found in the Guide for Authors on participating journal homepages

    Data Articles

    Data Articles by Elsevier

    Data articles focus on research data collected throughout the research cycle. They enable researchers to easily share a brief, thorough description of their data, helping others discover and reuse the data and reproduce results. Data articles support correct data citations and attribution, which help authors get credit for their work. They ensure that data and metadata are reviewed, curated, formatted, indexed, given a DOI and publicly available upon publication.

    Data articles are easy to submit; supporting journals offer templates that make data articles structured, easy to prepare and quick to go through the editorial process. They can link directly to a number of data repositories, such as Mendeley Data, or include the data directly within the article. Several journals support data articles including Data in Brief, Genomics Data and Chemical Data Collections.

    More information on Data Articles

    Software Articles

    Software Articles

    Software articles describe significant software and/or code in full, including relevant post publication version updates. Software articles capture all metadata needed to help others apply the software in their own research. Software articles provide a way for developers to get recognition for their work, while ensuring the software or code is published and citable, contributing to the body of work in the field.

    Software articles are easy to submit and subject to a quick and transparent peer review process. Templates ensure that articles describing software and code are actively reviewed, curated and formatted. In addition, the articles will be indexed and made available immediately upon publication. Journals that publish software articles include Neurocomputing, Knowledge Based Systems, Science of Computer Programming and SoftwareX – a new multidisciplinary open access journal focused exclusively on software articles.

    More Information on Software Articles

    Materials and Methods Articles

    Materials and Methods Articles

    Materials and methods articles provide details of the methods developed and materials used during a research cycle. They recognize the time researchers spend customizing methods and creating original laboratory resources. By publishing the description of method customizations and resource details, researchers can share their findings, helping other researchers reuse, reproduce and cite information throughout their research cycle.

    Journals that publish materials and methods articles include MethodsX, Genomics Data and Stem Cell Research. They provide template-based, brief article formats to help researchers get credit for the work they have done.

    More information on Materials and Methods Articles

    Video Articles

    Video Articles

    The Journal of Minimally Invasive Gynecology accepts Video Articles. A Video Article contains all of the elements outlined in a structured abstract and full written manuscript, but presented in a video form. Using video authors have the ability to present their scientific findings through visual media without having to write a paper. Instead the video provides the viewer with all of the elements supporting the findings in their data but in a visual way.

    Fungal Genetics and Biology accepts Video Articles as well. In these short articles, the text provides the background to a research finding or summarizes the current status of a scientific field, while the video illustrates the main point and makes the core message of the article easier to access.The journal offers two options: ‘Video Article: Research’ and ‘Video Article: Review’. Both are short and centered around the video, but have different purposes. And both are peer-reviewed and can be cited, just like any other article.


    Other Research Elements

    Results in Physics has introduced microarticles. Microarticles allow researchers to publish interesting data that have not grown into a full piece of research. Or to share a follow-up research result to a previously published paper. Or a description of a failed experiment, which provides a great new insight.

    Microarticles are very short papers, no longer than 2 pages. They may consist of a single, but well-described piece of information, such as:

    • Data and/or a plot plus a description
    • Description of a new method or instrumentation
    • Negative results
    • Concept or design study