Open Data

Data has the power to revolutionise and disrupt the way societies are governed for the better. This is especially the case with open data, which is free to access, free to use, and can be shared by anyone.

Data are facts, observations or experiences on which an argument or theory is constructed or tested. Data may be numerical, descriptive, aural or visual. Data may be raw, abstracted or analysed, experimental or observational. Data include but are not limited to: laboratory notebooks; field notebooks; primary research data (including research data in hard copy or in computer-readable form); questionnaires; audiotapes; videotapes; models; photographs; films; and test responses. Research collections may include slides; artefacts; specimens; and samples.

Submitting authors are strongly encouraged to make all data on which the conclusions of the paper rely freely available to readers. We encourage authors to ensure that their data are either deposited in publicly available repositories (such as GenBank, TreeBASE, Dryad, the Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity or other suitable long-term and stable public repositories) whenever possible. General repositories – for all types of research data (such as Figshare) – may be used where appropriate. In circumstances where ethical and legal issues dictate, any restrictions on sharing data (including research using personal data) should always be considered when storing and preserving research data. UCL Open: Environment adheres to the UCL Research Data policy statement: ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’ as outlined online at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/research-support/research-data.

Open data statement in your article

Authors must clearly state in their manuscript where their data are made available at time of submission. In circumstances where ethical and legal issues dictate any restrictions on sharing data (including research using personal data), a statement to this effect must be included for clarity. Where a widely established research community expectation for data archiving in public repositories exists, submission to a community-endorsed, public repository is mandatory. Persistent identifiers (such as DOIs and accession numbers) for relevant data must be provided in the manuscript.

Supplementary information

Data or information should not be submitted as supplementary information alongside the manuscript, but instead be included either as an appendix to the manuscript that forms part of the paper or deposited into a publicly available repository, depending on the type of data or information concerned.