Data access statements
Data access statements, also known as data availability statements, are used in publications to describe where data directly supporting the publication can be found and under what conditions they can be accessed.
Data access statements are required for all publications arising from publicly-funded research. They are a requirement of many funders' data policies and are a requirement of the RCUK Policy on Open Access. Some funders have indicated that they now check for the inclusion of data access statements in publications that acknowledge their support. The aim of the data access statement is discoverability - the data referenced by the statement do not have to be openly available.
What to include in the data access statement
The following are recommendations for what to include in the data access statement:
- For openly available data:
- the name(s) of the data repositories
- any persistent identifiers or accession numbers for the dataset.
- For data that is not openly available:
- a permanent record that describes any access constraints or conditions that must be satisfied for access to be granted.
- any justifiable legal or ethical reasons why your data cannot be made available
- Links to the data should be persistent.
- Digital Object Identifiers are a type of persistent URL that are provided for datasets by many specialist data archives.
- Source credits for existing data that you used and which you did not collect yourself
A simple direction to interested parties to contact the author is normally not sufficient.
The data access statement should be included in submitted manuscripts, even if identifiers have not yet been issued. Some journals now provide a separate section in articles for the data access statement. Where no such section exist, we suggest that you include the data access statement with the acknowledgement of funder support. The statement should be updated to include any persistent identifiers or accession numbers as they become available, typically when the manuscript is accepted for publication.
Download example data access statements.