A new way to publish your dataset #OA waccaloons!

March 17, 2016

Elsevier has a new ….journal? I guess that is what it is.

Data in Brief

From the author guidelines:

Data in Brief provides a way for researchers to easily share and reuse each other’s datasets by
publishing data articles that:

Thoroughly describe your data, facilitating reproducibility. Make your data, which is often buried in supplementary material, easier to find. Increase traffic towards associated research articles and data, leading to more citations. Open up doors for new collaborations.
Because you never know what data will be useful to someone else, Data in Brief welcomes submissions that describe data from all research areas.

At the moment they only list Section Editors in Proteomics, Materials Science, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Engineering and Genomics. So yes, there will apparently be peer review of these datasets:

Because Data in Brief articles are pure descriptions of data they are reviewed differently than a typical research article. The Data in Brief peer review process focuses on data transparency.

Reviewers review manuscripts based on the following criteria:
Do the description and data make sense? Do the authors adequately explain its utility to the community? Are the protocol/references for generating data adequate? Data format (is it standard? potentially re-usable?) Does the article follow the Data in Brief template? Is the data well documented?

Data in Brief that are converted supplementary files submitted alongside a research article via another Elsevier journal are editorially reviewed….

Wait. What’s this part now?

Here’s what the guidelines at a regular journal, also published by Elsevier, have to say about the purpose of Data in Brief:

Authors have the option of converting any or all parts of their supplementary or additional raw data into one or multiple Data in Brief articles, a new kind of article that houses and describes their data. Data in Brief articles ensure that your data, which is normally buried in supplementary material, is actively reviewed, curated, formatted, indexed, given a DOI and publicly available to all upon publication. Authors are encouraged to submit their Data in Brief article as an additional item directly alongside the revised version of their manuscript. If your research article is accepted, your Data in Brief article will automatically be transferred over to Data in Brief where it will be editorially reviewed and published in the new, open access journal, Data in Brief. Please note an open access fee is payable for publication in Data in Brief.

emphasis added.

So, for those of you that want to publish the data underlying your regular research article, instead of having it go unheeded in a Supplementary Materials pdf you now have the opportunity to pay an Open Access fee to get yourself a DOI for it.

20 Responses to “A new way to publish your dataset #OA waccaloons!”

  1. odyssey Says:

    Elsevier leading the way once again!


  2. drugmonkey Says:

    Right? I don’t understand why these #OAccaloons always hate on Elsevier. They are responding to the people’s demands!


  3. aspiring riffraff Says:

    somewhat related- has anyone used/heard of/have some sort of impression of the new single result journal Matters (https://www.sciencematters.io/)? It was written up in Science in December (http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/12/got-just-single-observation-new-journal-will-publish-it).

    If you use the new OA Elsevier thing, do you now get to publish multiple papers using identical data? Think of what can happen to your CV!


  4. Pippso Says:

    Their most cited articles were cited 1-5 times according to google scholar ??



  5. The Other Dave Says:

    “If you use the new OA Elsevier thing, do you now get to publish multiple papers using identical data? Think of what can happen to your CV!”

    Yes. This is where we as a scientific community make a choice. We either get on board with this, or we treat it like “Who’s Who’ on a CV.

    I plan to do the latter.


  6. Aaa Says:

    Can anyone actually get one of these articles to download? With Chrome the download button gives “Document download is not supported on Chrome 45 or higher. Please use Firefox or IE 9 or higher.” Safari just doesn’t work. Might as well be throwing your data into a dumpster fire outside Elsevier’s office…


  7. Ola Says:

    Or, you know, you could just post it on FigShare FOR FUCKING FREE and get a DOI anyway.

    Why must Elsevier insist on trying to make a buck off of every last little salami sliced bit of the academic publishing pie? Oh right, I forgot, they’re a giant corporation and don’t give a fuck about their customers.


  8. drugmonkey Says:

    “FigShare”? I dunno…….sounds kind of riff raffy. Not legit like a major publisher.


  9. The Other Dave Says:

    Can I put these comments on my CV?
    DM, can you see about getting us DOIs?
    Maybe re-title your blog to something like “Proceedings of the World Biomedical Science Illuminati”. Or maybe “Natur” or “Sceince” [misspellings intended, to avoid legal issues]


  10. ACS is partnering with FigShare to do the same sort of thing, supplementary material is put on FigShare and can then be cited. More details on this in the ACS Axial article: http://axial.acs.org/2016/02/08/figshare/


  11. qaz Says:

    I don’t understand this. Supplemental material is ALREADY citeable. It is part of the article that it is associated with. How is this anything but double dipping?


  12. odyssey Says:

    It IS double dipping. But legitimate double dipping. Elsevier says so.


  13. Pippso Says:

    well nobody seems to be citing this stuff, so i guess it’s just about adding that extra line to your pub list in the cv


  14. qaz Says:

    Legitimatizing double-dipping is going to be a real problem when we judge people by quantifying their publications. (See conversation in “PLOS has angered the PastramiMachine”).

    Is this (and the related discussion in “PLOS has angered the PastramiMachine”) the natural consequence of the quantification of publication metrics? Is this from people trying to game the system?

    Is it the natural consequence of the collapse of the old-boy network? (In the old days, everyone knew everyone, so grant reviewers could depend on individual knowledge of the PI rather than metric counts. [yes, there are lots of problems with the old-boy network.] To be further fair, I’m not convinced that the network has collapsed, and I still think most reviewers in a field know who’s who within the field.)

    And PS: Can I just pay twice as much for my article and have it count twice? That would be easier than actually writing a second article. And that way I wouldn’t be accused of self-plagiarism (which I thought was illegal).


  15. MorganPhD Says:

    Elsevier already has Genomics Data, a journal where I’ve seen many articles published that “fully analyze” datasets published in other journal articles. For example, paper #1 uses a microarray to demonstrate their favorite gene is highly transcribed in some disease. The “follow-up” paper in Genomics Data is a full analysis of the data quality and results from that microarray.

    It’s double-dipping IMO.


  16. jmz4 Says:

    Cause the omics people need more ways to pad their CVs, jeeze.


  17. The Other Dave Says:

    At least we’re past the days where you had an N=1500 if your microarray had 1500 spots.


  18. e-rook Says:

    This is interesting. It seems like double-dipping to me, if an author can have two lines on the CV for one activity.

    Can’t data be submitted to ArXve? Can’t gene expression data be submitted to the Gene Expression Omnibus for free? I don’t believe that datasets can be considered in the “Peer Reviewed Articles” section of a CV …in some fields, a separate section for “Datasets” is a thing …. if one were so motivated to this for biomedical science, I don’t think the world would end.

    Also – I mentioned a similar thing before — but can’t you just email the author and ask for the data? I have done this and gotten great responses. People have emailed me and asked for raw data and I happily sent it (omg, someone effing read my paper!1!). Isn’t this the point of putting contact information in a paper?


  19. e-rook Says:

    Someone has convinced the decision-makers at Elsevier that Elsevier can add value by providing this service …. maybe marketing it better than GEO, automating it, making the UI more appealing, and …. this is sad … but anything that avoids person to person contact is the preferred way to do things (ATMs, online banking, movie tickets, plane tickets, all-of-Amazon, etc). Then they think they can get buy-in from submitters because it adds (double dips) to the CV by being “peer reviewed.” I think it’s a genius business move.


  20. qaz Says:

    @MorganPhD – you need to separate analysis from data collection. It is not true (and has never been true) that one data set = one paper. A scientific paper is supposed to report a discovery. This means that if you use one data set in two different ways, then you can get two papers out of it. (*)

    * One always needs to find one’s own balance between “least-publishable-unit” and “massive complete-story monograph”. But LPU is not the same as double-dipping.

    But that is very different from what we’re talking about here, where a paper that is already published is reprinted in another format. By the same token, if I have a discovery that I want to communicate to two different fields, Elsevier’s suggestion would be to take the same paper and publish it in two journals, the primary field journal for field 1 and the primary field journal for field 2. (And pay them twice for the privilege.) I assume most of us agree this would be double-dipping and unacceptable.


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