The Changing Influence of Journal Data Sharing Policies on Local RDM Practices


The purpose of this study was to examine changes in research data deposit policies of highly ranked journals in the physical and applied sciences between 2014 and 2016, as well as to develop an approach to examining the institutional impact of deposit requirements. Policies from the top ten journals (ranked by impact factor from the Journal Citation Reports) were examined in 2014 and again in 2016 in order to determine if data deposits were required or recommended, and which methods of deposit were listed as options. For all 2016 journals with a required data deposit policy, publication information (2009-2015) for the University of Toronto was pulled from Scopus and departmental affiliation was determined for each article. The results showed that the number of high-impact journals in the physical and applied sciences requiring data deposit is growing. In 2014, 71.2% of journals had no policy, 14.7% had a recommended policy, and 13.9% had a required policy (n=836). In contrast, in 2016, there were 58.5% with no policy, 19.4% with a recommended policy, and 22.0% with a required policy (n=880). It was also evident that U of T chemistry researchers are by far the most heavily affected by these journal data deposit requirements, having published 543 publications, representing 32.7% of all publications in the titles requiring data deposit in 2016. The Python scripts used to retrieve institutional publications based on a list of ISSNs have been released on GitHub so that other institutions can conduct similar research.