Collecting Journal Data Policies: JoRD

My last two posts have related to IDCC 2013; that makes this post three in a row. Apparently IDCC is a gift that just keeps giving (albeit a rather short post in this case).

Today the topic is the JoRD project, funded by JISC. JoRD stands for Journal Research Data; the JoRD Policy Bank is basically a project to collect and summarize data policies for a range of academic journals.

From the JISC project website, this project aims to

provide researchers, managers of research data and other stakeholders with an easy source of reference to understand and comply with Research Data policies.

How to go about this? The project’s objectives (cribbed and edited from the project site):

  1. Identify and consult with stakeholders; develop stakeholder requirements
  2. Investigate the current state of data sharing policies within journals
  3. Deliver recommendations on a central service to summarize journal research data policies and provide a reference for guidance and information on journal policies.

I’m most interested in #2: what are journals saying about data sharing? To tackle this, project members are collecting information about data sharing policies on the the top 100 and bottom 100 Science Journals, and the top 100 and bottom 100 Social Science Journals. Based on the stated journal policies about data sharing, they fill out an extensive spreadsheet. I’m anxious to see the final outcome of this data collection – my hunch is that most journals “encourage” or “recommend” data sharing, but do not mandate it.

I think of the JoRD Policy Bank as having two major benefits:

Educating Researchers. As  you may be aware, many researchers are a bit slow to jump on the data sharing bandwagon.  This is the case despite the fact that all signs point to future requirements for sharing at the time of publication (see my post about it, Thanks in Advance for Sharing Your Data). Once researchers come to terms with the fact that soon data sharing will not be optional, they will need to know how to comply. Enter JoRD Policy Bank!

Encouraging Publishers. The focus on stakeholder needs and requirements suggests that the outcomes of this project will provide guidance to publishers about how to proceed in their requirements surrounding data sharing. There might be a bit of peer pressure, as well: Journals don’t want to seem behind the times when it comes to data sharing, lest their credibility be threatened.

In general, the JoRD website is chock full of information about data sharing policies, open data, and data citation. Check it out!

C'mon researchers! Jump on the data sharing band wagon! From purlem.com

C’mon researchers! Jump on the data sharing band wagon! From purlem.com

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