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Presented at the Research Support Community Day by Natasha Simons (Program Leader for Skills, Policy and Resources, Australian National Data Service)
An increasing number of scholarly publishers and journals are implementing policies and procedures that require published articles to be accompanied by the underlying research data. These policies are an important part of the shift toward reproducible research and have been shown to influence researchers’ willingness to share research data to varying extents. However journal data availability policies are highly idiosyncratic, vary in strength from encouraging to mandating data sharing, and are often difficult to interpret. This makes it challenging for researchers to comply, editors to introduce and research support staff to assist. This presentation examined why and how more scholarly publishers/journals are introducing data availability policies and explore the differences in journal data sharing policies, referring to examples. It outlined the challenges of current data policies, what is expected of various stakeholders, and reflect on efforts in Australia to engage stakeholders in conversation to improve data policies including 2017 Social Sciences and Health and Medical roundtables. It concluded with an update on international collaborations that are helping to facilitate wider adoption of clear, consistent policies for publishing research data.