Data statements in publications signpost where data directly supporting the publication can be found and under what conditions it can be accessed.
Many funders now require publications arising from publicly funded research to have such a statement. UKRI has such a policy led by the EPSRC who have required a data statement to be included in all published outputs since May 2015.
The University of Liverpool Research Data Management policy also states that publications should include a statement.
All publications involving data should have a data statement. Supplementary files can serve this purpose and in some disciplines are the accepted way of sharing data. However, they are not a substitute for sharing datasets via a repository and unless published open access, in most cases copyright rests with the publisher.
When data has been deposited in a trusted research data repository, you simply link to the digital object identifier (DOI) of that dataset in a brief statement. If the publisher does not have a specific field in the submission process then the statement should appear on your final draft at the bottom near acknowledgements.
You need the DOI of your dataset before your publication is published, at the latest in the final submission of the paper after acceptance. The accepted version is the version that you should also deposit into Liverpool Elements to comply with open access requirements.
Statements for alternative scenarios should be used as appropriate indicating that the data:
- Are supplied in the results section
- Are in the accompanying supplementary files
- Unavailable to due to ethical or other reasons.
If your research is the secondary analysis of datasets, you should reference these or advise that all are cited appropriately within the article. Always cite existing datasets that you have used.
The University of Bath has some good examples of data statements.