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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.

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, Biology Letters, Proceedings B and Royal Society Open Science have Dryad data deposition integrated into the journal submission system. For all its science journals, the Society will cover the cost of depositing up to 20GB of data with Dryad. In addition, we deposit all supplementary material into the Figshare repository on the author's behalf.

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 of the manuscript any restrictions on the availability of data, code and research materials.

Where possible, deposit should be made prior to publication under embargo until publication of the article. Data deposition with Dryad should be made once the article has been editorially accepted for publication.

Datasets and code that have been deposited in an external repository should be appropriately cited in both the reference list and data accessibility section.


Citing datasets and code

Citing datasets and code ensure effective and robust dissemination and appropriate credit to authors. Use the DOI Citation Formatter to format your citation.

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

Nucleotide sequence data

Accession numbers must be provided in the Data Accessibility section of your manuscript.

Phylogenetic data

Please ensure that alignments as well as phylogenies are deposited.

Microarray data

Microarray data must be deposited in a MIAME-compliant format.

Protein sequences

Accession numbers must be provided in the Data Accessibility section of your manuscript.

Proteomics data

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

Chemical data

Chemical structures and bioassays should be deposited in PubChem.

Source code

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


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 in accordance with our usage terms and conditions. We ask that you respect the copyright of the original papers, and where possible cite original works when you reuse them.

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.