Data availability statements, also known as data access statements, are included in publications to describe where the data associated with the paper is available, and under what conditions the data can be accessed. They are required by many funders and scientific journals as well as the UKRI Common Principles on Data Policy.
UKRI requires all research articles to include a ‘Data Access Statement’, even where there are no data associated with the article or the data are inaccessible. In situations where no new data have been created, such as a review, the statement “No new data were created or analysed in this study. Data sharing is not applicable to this article.” should be included in the article as a DAS.
Read the full UKRI policy to ensure you know what your responsibilities are.
Cranfield University’s Open Access Policy similarly holds researchers responsible for ‘Ensuring published results always include a statement on how and on what terms supporting data may be accessed.’
For details of how projects funded under Horizon 2020 should comply with funder policy, please see the Guidelines on Open Access to Scientific Publications and Research Data and the guidelines on data management.
Examples of data access statements are provided below, but your statement should typically include:
|Data are openly available in a repository||“Data supporting this study are openly available from (NAME OF REPOSITORY, e.g., CORD) at (DOI, ACCESSION NUMBER OR URL)”|
|Data are available in a repository, but subject to an embargo||“Data supporting this study will be available from (NAME OF REPOSITORY, e.g., CORD) at (DOI, ACCESSION NUMBER OR URL) following a 6 month embargo”|
|Data are available in a repository, but access is restricted due to legal, ethical, or commercial reasons||“Data supporting this study are available from (NAME OF REPOSITORY, e.g., CORD) at (DOI, ACCESSION NUMBER OR URL). Access to the data is subject to approval and a data sharing agreement due to (GIVE REASONS WHY ACCESS TO THE DATA IS RESTRICTED)”|
|Secondary analysis of third party data subject to restrictions||“This study used third party data made available under licence that the author does not have permission to share. Requests to access the data should be directed to (THIRD PARTY) at (URL/CONTACT DETAILS)”|
|Data available as supplementary information||“Data supporting this study are included within the article and/or supporting materials”|
|Data are available on request only due to ethical, legal, or commercial reasons*||“Data supporting this study are not publicly available due to (GIVE REASONS WHY DATA ARE NOT PUBLIC). Please contact email@example.com)”|
|Data cannot be shared due to ethical, legal, or commercial restrictions**||“Data supporting this study cannot be made available due to (GIVE REASONS WHY THE DATA CANNOT BE SHARED)”|
|No new data generated or analysed***||“No new data were created or analysed during this study. Data sharing is not applicable to this article."|
*A simple direction to contact the author may not be considered acceptable by some funders and publishers. The EPSRC have made this explicit. Consider setting up a shared email address for your research group or use an existing departmental address.
** Under some circumstances (e.g., participants did not agree for their data to be shared) it may be appropriate to explain that the data are not available at all. In this case, you must give clear and justified reasons.
*** Use in situations such as a review, where no new data have been created.
Additional examples of data access/availability statements can be found on these publisher web pages: Springer Nature, Wiley and Taylor Francis.
Some journals provide a “data availability” or “data access” section. If no such section exists, you can place your statement in the acknowledgements section.
Once your article is published, you should update your repository project with the DOI for your article, which will be emailed to you upon article publication. Linking your supporting data to your publication will enable your data and paper to be reciprocally connected, ensuring you receive credit for your work. This can be done in CORD by using the ‘Resource Title’ and ‘Resource DOI’ fields respectively.