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IOP Science

Research Data, Article Multimedia and Supplementary Material

Research data policy

IOP Publishing supports the principles of transparency and openness in scientific research, with the reproducibility of research facilitated by the availability of data, code and research materials underpinning research articles.

Many research funders now require authors to make all data related to their research available in an online repository. Funder policies can be viewed at the Sherpa Juliet database.

All IOP Publishing journals have a policy on research data and this will be listed in the ‘about the journal’ section of their website. IOP Publishing journals and several journals published in partnership with other organisations will follow one of the following policies on research data:

Some journals that IOP Publishing publishes on behalf of another society or organisation may have its own custom policy on research data. Please check their specific journal guidelines before submitting your article.

Article multimedia

IOPscience allows inline presentation of multimedia files within journal articles, with videos, animations or sound files that are supplied by authors as part of the main article treated as figures. Multimedia figures are represented in the PDF by a static image with appropriate caption. In the HTML the same image and caption are displayed, readers can click/tap the image to play the multimedia file inline.

If a figure has more than one multimedia file, there must be a separate image for each file (e.g. parts a and b for a figure with two videos). This is necessary so that the files both display in the HTML.

Please note that multimedia files must not include any music.

To make multimedia files accessible to as many readers as possible, the caption accompanying the file must include a description of the key points demonstrated by the video/audio. If the time duration of a video is long enough, we encourage authors to add a voiceover describing the key points illustrated. If the video already has audio, try to record your description in spaces where the original audio is not crucial to the information in the file.

Technical specifications

We strongly recommend video files be delivered in the MPEG-4 container, encoded with the H264 codec. Other formats may be provided, but using MPEG-4 will provide the most faithful rendering of your video in the HTML journal article.

Video files should be a maximum of 10 MB file size each. Exceptions can be made in cases where larger files are essential for the science being presented.

Recommended settings:

  • Frame rate: 15 frames s-1
  • Frame size: 480 x 360 pixels
  • Data rate: 150 kB s-1

Interactive figures

Authors may prepare interactive models to enhance the communication of their research. These models are treated as figures in the article. Each model is represented in the PDF by a static image with an appropriate caption. The HTML in IOPscience displays the figure and caption with a ‘Start interaction’ button which loads the interactive model within the flow of the article.

To make interactive figures accessible to as many readers as possible, the caption accompanying the figure must include a description of the key points demonstrated by the interactivity.

Example images: figures 2 and 3 figures 1 and 5

Interactive models should use the X3D standard. This is an open-source, XML-based format curated by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO). By using the X3DOM javascript/CSS combination, X3D models can be incorporated directly into HTML without the need for browser plug-ins. This can be downloaded at

We strongly recommend the use of X3D/X3DOM but stand-alone interactive figures produced using alternative packages (such as Plotly or Bokeh are also accepted.

Authors interested in using this functionality need to create and supply the interactive model and an HTML file that presents the model, along with all .JS and .CSS files used.

Supplementary material and data in journal articles

IOP Publishing encourages authors to submit supplementary material at submission that will enhance the online version of a published research article and aid its discoverability. Supplementary material typically includes relevant material that does not form part of the main article, which may include additional data such as computer code, large tables, additional figures or appendices. It may also include multimedia files, such as video clips, animations or sound files. Please note that multimedia files must not include any music. Also note the accessibility considerations for multimedia files detailed above. Supplementary material can include primary datasets where they fall within the file size limits outlined below. If the material is integral to the article then it should be submitted as part of the article rather than as supplementary material.

Supplementary material is not included in the PDF of the article or in any print version and does not form part of the Version of Record. As it is not considered integral to the article it is not subject to peer review and cannot be formally cited. Supplementary material is hosted for free with an article on IOPscience, in the format supplied by the author, and is accessible to the whole readership. Supplementary material is not formatted or edited by our production team, and so proofs are not provided to authors.

Files for supplementary material can be up to a maximum of 10 MB each. Authors wishing to associate larger amounts of supplementary material with their article are recommended make use of a data repository.

Authors should ensure the necessary permissions are obtained before including any third party supplementary material with their submission.

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