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Data sharing and mining

Open data policy

To allow others to verify and build on the work published in Royal Society journals, it is a condition of publication that authors make available the data, code and research materials supporting the results in the article. This policy can be cited by DOI via

Datasets and code should be deposited in an appropriate, recognised, publicly available repository. Where no data-specific repository exists, authors should deposit their datasets in a general repository such as Dryad or Figshare.

To encourage best practice in data sharing, several Royal Society journals have Dryad data deposition integrated into the journal submission system. For all its science journals, the Society will cover the cost of depositing data with Dryad. In addition, we deposit all supplementary material into the Figshare repository on the author's behalf.

Where possible, deposit should be made prior to publication under embargo until publication of the article.

Details of data must be included in a Data Accessibility section (see below for more detail).Datasets and code that have been deposited in an external repository should be appropriately cited in both the reference list and Data Accessibility section. 

Exceptions to the sharing of data, code and materials may be granted at the discretion of the editor, especially for sensitive information such as human subject data or the location of endangered species. Authors must disclose upon submission any restrictions on the availability of data, code and research materials and provide contact details for the ethics committee or other institutional body to which data requests may be sent. Occasionally, researchers cannot share third-party data for legal reasons - again it is necessary to provide contact details (other researchers should be able access the data in the same manner as the authors).


As part of our open data policy, we ask that authors please ensure that the licence applied to their dataset is clearly visible on the repository landing page (see our recommended repository list, below) of their data record. All data deposited to Dryad through the integrated submission system will be published under a Creative Commons BY 4.0 licence; as will all supplementary files (see the Supplementary material section, below). Data which do not explicitly have an open licence are not open data. Wherever possible, we ask that authors ensure that the license accompanying their data record is given as an open data license of either CC0 or CC-BY. 

Exceptions to the above may be made for authors dependent on the circumstances (for example, due to ethical considerations, or if data are obtained from a third party where re-use restrictions may apply) but we ask that authors please query this with the editorial office prior to submission to the journal.

Citing datasets and code

Citing datasets and code ensure effective and robust dissemination and appropriate credit to authors.

Citations in Royal Society journals are in the Vancouver style, for example:

1. Torres-Campos I, Abram PK, Guerra-Grenier E, Boivin G, Brodeur J. 2016 Data from: A scenario for the evolution of selective egg colouration: the roles of enemy-free space, camouflage, thermoregulation, and pigment limitation. Dryad Digital Repository

Data accessibility

All manuscripts which report primary data (usually research articles) must include a Data Accessibility section which states where the article's supporting data can be accessed. Please see our author guidelines for a full description of how to prepare a Data Accessibility section.

Supplementary material

The supplementary material feature can also be used to upload supporting figures, videos and other small files that do not contain raw data. All supplementary material will be made available on our journal websites and on Figshare under a Creative Commons BY 4.0 licence, meaning that others are free to share, reuse and build upon the information, as long as they properly credit the original author. Please see our full licence to publish for more details.

Common repositories

Biological Sciences

Nucleotide sequence data

Phylogenetic data

  • TreeBASE

    Please ensure that alignments as well as phylogenies are deposited.

Microarray data

Protein sequences

Proteomics data

We recommend that all proteomics data, including mass spectrometry and protein interaction data is deposited via the EBI PRIDE website.

Physical Sciences

Chemical data

Chemical structures and bioassays should be deposited in PubChem.

Earth, space and environmental science data

Authors should deposit research data in a FAIR-aligned repository, with a preference for those that explicitly follow the FAIR Data Principles and demonstrate compliance with international standards for data repositories, (e.g. CoreTrustSeal). Supplements to articles must not be used as an archive for data.

General repositories

Where no appropriate subject-specific repository exists, data should be deposited in a general repository such as Zenodo or Dryad.

Computer software and source code

To help enable reproducibility, computer code central to the findings being reported should be available. 

Source code should be made available under an open source licence and deposited in an appropriate repository such as Zenodo or Dryad. Small amounts of source code can be included in the supplementary material.

Source code or the commercially available software used should be referenced in an appropriately formatted citation – this article provides guidance.

Data mining

We support the stance that the right to read is the right to mine. We believe that the ability to use computers to extract information from scholarly material is one of many tools available to researchers, and we support this activity on our journals.

Members of subscribing institutions have our permission to mine journal content for either commercial or non-commercial purposes. We ask that you respect the copyright of the original papers, and where possible cite original works when you reuse them.

Text and data mining is an exception to the usual copyright restrictions which researchers can benefit from. The exception (s.29A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA)) allows copies to be made of any copyright material for the purpose of computational analysis.

If a researcher wants to share TDM results that contain some copyright-protected element from the original work, for example in a publication, then that is possible in certain circumstances.  For example, the Quotation exception (s.30 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (CDPA)) allows the copying and use of portions of someone else’s work to illustrate a point being made.

Please also bear in mind that our servers have finite capacity, and to help us manage the system load we ask that you let us know when you intend to carry out any mining activity. Our technology provider sets a limit on downloads from our sites, beyond which an automatic lock-out is triggered. By working together, we can help you to complete your project and achieve your research goals without being blocked by technical restrictions.

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