New editorial supports data archiving

The journal Evolution has joined other Dryad partner journals in announcing a new data archiving policy mandating, as a condition of publication, that the data used in a paper be made publicly available.

The editorial says

Data that are properly archived are saved for posterity, and the archives also function to preserve data in a useable form for the original authors. Moreover, if datasets are put into a readily interpretable format while the methods and structure of the data are foremost in the scientists’ minds, that data can be used later more easily by those scientists and others.

When fully in place, the policy will require authors to archive the data required to support the conclusions in their published paper, along with sufficient details that a third party can reasonably interpret those data correctly.

To be implemented next year, the policy is parallel to those already announced by two other prominent journals, also Dryad partners:

  • Whitlock, M. C., M. A. McPeek, M. D. Rausher, L. Rieseberg, and A. J. Moore. 2010. Data Archiving. American Naturalist. 175:145-146, doi:10.1086/650340
  • Rieseberg, L., T. Vines, and N. Kane. Editorial and retrospective 2010. Molecular Ecology. 19:1-22, doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2009.04450.x