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Supporting data openness, transparency & sharing

Elsevier signs up to TOP guidelines & develops new data-sharing guidelines for journals

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In today’s world, there is a growing demand from the wider research community, including funding bodies, for guidance and tools to increase the transparency, openness and reproducibility of research. Data sharing is an integral aspect of this development. In 2015, Elsevier introduced overall guidance in the form of a research data policy and has reviewed this policy in light of recent study into changing researcher attitudes and practices around data. We are therefore pleased to now introduce new journal data guidelines.

In the latest demonstration of our firm commitment to the above principles, we are pleased to confirm that, as a reflection of our journal data-sharing policies and practices being aligned with the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) guidelines, Elsevier has become a signatory to TOP. The TOP guidelines are a community-driven effort, led by the Center for Open Science (COS), aiming to align research behaviors with the scientific values of transparency, open sharing, and reproducibility. Journals, funders, and institutions can increase reproducibility of research by aligning their author or grantee guidelines with the TOP guidelines.

Elsevier is committed to the principles of openness, transparency, and reproducibility and wants to implement these in a manner that allows for the flexibility needed to address the diverse data-sharing needs of different disciplines. Therefore, our new data-sharing framework consists of five different options that ensure all journals are provided with the appropriate guidance and solutions for their community. The data-sharing guidelines are now clearly explained in the guides for authors of more than 1800 Elsevier journals. Furthermore, Elsevier’s submission systems have been updated to ensure that authors can easily share and/or link to their data. If, for whatever reason, the underlying data cannot be shared, authors are encouraged to record a statement to explain further. If you wish to review or comment on your journal’s current policy or practices, please consult your regular publishing contact.

TOP guidelines

“We will work with COS to provide feedback from authors and editors, to develop the best possible solutions to promote reproducibility, transparency and quality of research,” explained Philippe Terheggen, Elsevier’s Managing Director of Science, Technical and Medical Journals. “Our journals now encourage and enable authors to share data or make a data availability statement, which is part of our ongoing focus on research integrity. Many editors have been mandating sharing of underlying data/code for some time, while others have taken this opportunity to strengthen their policies.”

“We are delighted to partner with Elsevier to improve transparency practices across their journals portfolio” said Brian Nosek, Executive Director of the Center for Open Science. “The TOP Guidelines are one element of a broader strategy to shift cultural norms and incentives for improving transparency in publishing.”

Next to these data-sharing guidelines, Elsevier offers many other initiatives to help break down barriers to reproducibility. If you are interested in considering any initiative for your journal or would like to recommend a new initiative, please liaise with your publishing contact and they will be able to assist.

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