Data access statements, also known as data availability statements, are used in publications to describe where data directly supporting the publication can be found and under what conditions they can be accessed.
Data access statements are required for all publications arising from publicly-funded research. They are a requirement of the RCUK Policy on Open Access (section 3.3 (ii)) and are a requirement of many funders' data policies.
The aim of the data access statement is discoverability - the data referenced by the statement do not have to be openly available. There are many reasons why access to data should be restricted and if you are unsure about whether you should publish your data openly please contact email@example.com for advice.
What to include in the data access statement:
A simple direction to interested parties to contact the author would not normally be considered sufficient.
“To access the research data supporting this publication, see http://doi.org/10.17036/researchdata.aston.ac.uk.xxxxxx”
“Access to the research data supporting this publication is restricted; see http://doi.org/10.17036/researchdata.aston.ac.uk.xxxxxx for more information”
"Supporting data will be available from http://doi.org/10.17036/researchdata.aston.ac.uk.xxxxxx after a 6 month embargo, to allow for commercialisation of research findings."
DataCite and the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM) conjunctively released a statement in 2012 regarding the linking and citing of research data, summarised below:
Data created through the lifecycle of a research project is what gives purpose to the research. When a paper is published it becomes freely accessible as it is crucial evidence of the output of research, therefore the underlying data behind the publication must also be freely available to the public. Henceforth it is important that the citation function allows recognition for the paper and is also available.
DataCite provides a detailed Metadata Schema for the Publication of Citation of Research Data. There are 6 compulsory factors needed to cite data accurately for identification and retrieval purposes and they are:
DCC have identified some key factors to consider when citing data: