Research data are defined in the Concordat on Open Data as ‘the evidence that underpins the answer to the research question, and can be used to validate findings regardless of its form (eg print, digital, or physical)’. Research data can include statistics, collections of digital images, sound recordings, transcripts of interviews, survey data and fieldwork observations with appropriate annotations, an interpretation, an artwork, archives, found objects, published texts or a manuscript.
Many publishers require articles to include a data access statement. UKRI, Wellcome and other funders require research articles to include a data access statement, even when there is no data associated with the article or the data is inaccessible.
Format and positioning of the statement
or publisher’s guidance for authors should indicate the format and placement of
a data access statement. Where no such distinct section exists, we suggest you place
your statement in the Acknowledgements
section with the acknowledgement of funder support and before the References list. UKRI does not
currently have requirements for the format of data access statements.
We also recommend that you include a full citation to the data in your main References list. Most referencing styles include a standard format for referencing data. Use Cite them right to see how to do this. The UK Data Service also provides advice on how to cite data.
Your data access statement should be included in submitted manuscripts, even if identifiers have not yet been issued. The statement should be updated to include any persistent identifiers, (eg Digital Object Identifier (DOI)), as they become available, typically when the manuscript is accepted for publication.
What to include in a statement
statements should typically include the following information:
- where the data can be accessed (preferably a data repository)
- a unique persistent identifier, such as a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or accession number, or a link to a permanent record for the data
- details of any restrictions on accessing the data and a justifiable explanation (eg for legal, ethical or commercial reasons)
Please note, a direction to contact the author for access to data is not considered acceptable or sufficient by funders or publishers.
Example Data Access statements
For Open data
'All data created during this research are openly available from the [Name of repository eg Kent Data Repository] at [give DOI eg https://doi.org/10.15132/10000xxx.]'
‘All data supporting this study are provided as supplementary information accompanying this paper at [insert DOI].’
‘This publication is supported by multiple datasets which are openly available at locations cited in the References section of this paper.’
Secondary analysis of existing data
‘This study is a re-analysis of existing data which are openly available at locations cited in the References section of this paper. Further documents about data processing are openly available from the [insert repository name] repository at [insert DOI].’
‘This study brought together existing research data obtained upon request and subject to licence restrictions from a number of different sources. Full details of how these data were obtained are available in the documentation available at the [insert repository name] repository at [insert DOI].’
‘Anonymised interview transcripts from participants who consented to data sharing, plus other supporting information, are available from the UK Data Service, subject to registration at [insert DOI].’
‘Due to the [insert appropriate term: ethically, politically, commercially] sensitive nature of the research, no participants consented to their data being retained or shared. Further information about the data are available from the [insert repository name] repository at [insert DOI].’
‘Processed, qualitative data from this study is available from the [insert repository name] repository at [insert DOI]. Additional raw data related to this publication cannot be openly released; the raw data contains transcripts of interviews, but none of the interviewees consented to data sharing.’
Commercially restricted data
'Supporting data will be available from [name of repository] after a [x] month embargo from the data of publication to allow for commercialisation of research.'
Data included within a paper
‘All data supporting this publication are directly available within this publication.’
'No data were created during this study.'
This guide uses significant material from the University of Bath, University of Birmingham, University of Manchester and University of Dundee for which we are grateful.
Need help with data access statements? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out all the ways you can get in touch: