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IOP Science

IOP Publishing research data availability policy

IOP Publishing recognises the incredible potential of the open science. Our Journals have adopted progressive data policies and we include data availability statement in all our articles.

The benefits of open data
Access to data enables replication of research and strengthens trust in the results. Giving access to original data, researchers allow others to learn from their practices and build on their results. Open sharing of research data can also expand the visibility and impact of your work.

Authors are encouraged to share their data but not required to. However, if your data will not be made publicly available then there are two related requirements:

  1. Authors must specify the reason why they are unable to make their research data publicly available at the point of publication and this reason will be included in the published article. Further information about this requirement is set out below.
  2. Authors must agree to make any data required to support or replicate claims made in an article available privately to the journal’s editors, reviewers and readers without undue restriction or delay if requested.

The decision to accept an article for publication will not be affected by whether or not authors share their research data publicly.

We encourage you to cite any data referred to in your article (including your own) in your reference list. Please see the section on data citation for more details.

Definition of research data

This policy applies to the research data that would be required to verify or replicate the results of research reported in articles published in the journal. Research data include data produced by the authors (“primary data”) and data from other sources that are analysed by authors in their study (“secondary data”). Research data includes any recorded factual material that are used to produce the results in digital and non-digital form. This includes tabular data, code, software, images, audio, documents, video, maps, raw and/or processed data.

Policy exceptions

Research data that are not required to verify or replicate the results reported in articles are not covered by this policy. This policy does not require public sharing of quantitative or qualitative data that could identify a research participant (“personal data”) unless participants have consented to data release. The policy also does not require public sharing of other sensitive data, such as the locations of endangered species.

Alternatives to public sharing of sensitive or personal data include:

  • Deposition of research data in controlled access repositories
  • Anonymisation or deidentification of data before public sharing
  • Only sharing metadata about the research data
  • Stating the procedures for accessing your research data in your article and managing data access requests from other researchers


Embargoes on data sharing are permitted.

Supplementary materials

Sharing research data as supplementary information files is permitted but discouraged because it will not receive a unique and citable identifier. Sharing research data via an established data repository is more likely to mean that data is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (‘FAIR’). For further details see the sections below on Data repositories and Data formats and standards.

Data repositories

The preferred mechanism for sharing research data is via data repositories. Authors are encouraged to deposit their research data in a repository that has been widely adopted within their research community but, if none is available, authors may use a general data repository.

Examples of general data repositories include:

  • Dryad (
  • Figshare (
  • Harvard Dataverse (
  • OSF (
  • Zenodo (

If you share associated software and code via GitHub then we recommend that you deposit a copy in a repository that issues a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). The DOI provides a permanent reference point and supports future citation of your software and code.

Further repositories can be found via

Data and software citation

Authors should cite any publicly available research data (including software) in their reference list – whether it is your own or another researcher’s. 

References to datasets (data citations) or software (software citations) must include a persistent identifier such as a DOI. Citations of datasets or software, when they appear in the reference list, should include the followingminimum informationand follow journal style: 

Author/Creator (Publication Year). Title. Repository/Archive Name. Identifier 

It may also be desirable to include information about two optional properties, Version and Resource Type (such as ‘dataset’ or ‘software’). If so, the recommended form is as follows: 

Author/Creator (Publication Year). Title. Version. Repository/Archive Name. Resource Type. Identifier 

Data licensing

The journal encourages research data to be made available under open licences that permit reuse freely (eg CC0). The journal does not enforce particular licenses for research data, where research data are deposited in third party repositories. The publisher of the journal does not claim copyright in research data.

Data availability statements

The journal requires authors to include a data availability statement in their article. The provision of a data availability statement will be verified as a condition of publication.

Please note that most of our journals will enable you to select an appropriate data availability statement during the submission process and this will be automatically added to your published article.

Data availability statements provide information on where the data supporting the results reported in the article can be found including, where applicable, hyperlinks to publicly archived datasets analysed or generated during the study.

If the research data will be made publicly available then the data availability statement should provide information on where and how the data can be accessed. If the research data will not be publicly available you will also be asked to state the reason. We recognise that there remain a range of barriers to the open sharing of all research data. The reason you provide will not be grounds for rejecting your article. You will be asked for the reason during the submission process and can select from several templates or enter a reason manually.

If your data will be openly available under more than one DOI/URL then please select the appropriate statement and include the DOIs/URLs separated by semi colons or clear spaces. You can review the details of your data availability statement at proof correction stage. Statements cannot be amended after publication of the article.

If you intend to make data openly available in future but do not have a DOI/URL or a pre-registered DOI/URL when you submit your manuscript then please state that data is not publicly available and then provide further details in the data availability statements section in the submission form on when and how the data will become accessible.

Data formats and standards

The journal encourages authors to share research data using data formats and standards recognised by their research community. Please see for more information on established data sharing formats and standards.

The journal prefers research data to be shared in open file formats – those that do not require proprietary software to access – where possible. For example, tabular data should be shared as CSV files rather than XLS files.

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