What is a data paper?
A data paper is a peer reviewed document describing a dataset, published in a peer reviewed journal. It takes effort to prepare, curate and describe data. Data papers provide recognition for this effort by means of a scholarly article.
Data papers explained
A data paper is a searchable metadata document, describing a particular dataset or a group of datasets, published in the form of a peer-reviewed article in a scholarly journal.
Unlike a conventional research article, the primary purpose of a data paper is to describe data and the circumstances of their collection, rather than to report hypotheses and conclusions.
GBIF has been working with partners in academic publishing to promote the data paper as a means of bringing credit and recognition to all those involved in data publication; to alert the scientific community to the existence of biodiversity datasets and the value they can bring to particular research projects; and as a mechanism for quality assessment and control of data accessible through GBIF and other networks.
Why publish data papers?
Authoring clear, informative metadata is an essential step if biodiversity data are going to be discovered and used to inform research and decisions. This involves extra work, and data publishers need incentives to do it. In the absence of such incentives, too many datasets are published with poorly-documented metadata or, worse still, no metadata at all.
Data papers help to overcome barriers to authoring of metadata by providing clear acknowledgement of all those involved in the collection, management, curation and publishing of biodiversity data.
By publishing a data paper, you will:
- Receive credit through indexing and citation of the published paper, in the same way as with any conventional scholarly publication, offering benefits to authors in terms of recognition and career building
- Increase the visibility, usability and credibility of the data resources you publish
- Track more effectively the usage and citations of the data you publish.
Data paper tools
GBIF Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT)
GBIF has worked with Pensoft Publishers to develop a workflow for generating a data paper manuscript using the GBIF Metadata Profile, provided as part of the Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT). At a click of a button you can download the metadata as an RTF-formatted manuscript ready for editing and submission for peer review following the normal procedures of any journal accepting this kind of publication (see table below).
This tool created by SiBBr extracts metadata from a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), and creates a manuscript in RTF format ready for editing and submission.
arpha Writing Tool
The arpha Writing Tool further simplifies the process of publishing a data papers. Metadata from a dataset can be uploaded, and the entire process from collaborative writing, commenting, and editing, over submission and peer review, to publication and post-publication revising is handled in one web-based tool. Detailed instructions on importing metadate from IPT-hosted datasets are available.
The arpha Writing Tool currently supports direct submission to Biodiversity Data Journal.
Most recent papers describing data published in the GBIF network
Rodeles AA, Galicia D and Miranda R (2016) Iberian fish records in the vertebrate collection of the Museum of Zoology of the University of Navarra. Scientific Data. Springer Nature, 160091. Available at doi:10.1038/sdata.2016.91.
Escribano N, Galicia D, Ariño AH and Escala C (2016) Long-term data set of small mammals from owl pellets in the Atlantic-Mediterranean transition area. Scientific Data. Springer Nature, 160085. Available at doi:10.1038/sdata.2016.85.
Morrison K, Roxburgh L, Smith T, Page-Nicholson S, Gibbons B, Jones MG, van Niekerk M, Botha B, Oliver K and McCann K (2016) The African Crane Database (1978-2014): Records of three threatened crane species (Family: Gruidae) from southern and eastern Africa. Biodiversity Data Journal. Pensoft Publishers, e9794. Available at doi:10.3897/BDJ.4.e9794
Journals that publish biodiversity-related data papers
Please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org with corrections or updates.
|Journal||Publisher||Open Access||APC estimate||Impact factor|
|Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica||Nat Hist Museum of Barcelona||Yes||€0||-|
|Biodiversity Data Journal||Pensoft||Yes||€300||-|
|BioInvasions Records||REABIC Journals||Yes||€600||-|
|Biota Colombiana||Humboldt Institute, Colombia||Yes||€0||-|
|BMC Ecology||Biomed Central||Yes||€1,745||2.724|
|BMC Plant Biology||Biomed Central||Yes||€1,745||3.631|
|China Scientific Data||Chinese Academy of Sciences||Yes||€458||-|
|Data in Brief||Elsevier||Yes||€458||-|
|Data||MDPI Open Access Journals||Yes||€0||-|
|Dataset Papers in Science||Hindawi||Yes||€458||-|
|Earth System Science Data||Copernicus GmbH||Yes||€0||8.286|
|F1000 Research||F1000 Research Ltd||Yes||€917||-|
|Geoscience Data Journal||Wiley (on behalf of RMetS)||Yes||€1,200||1.562|
|Scientific Data||Nature Publishing Group||Yes||€1,050||-|
|Global Ecology and Biogeography||Wiley||Optional||€1,530||5.840|
|Ecological Archives||Ecological Society of America||No||€229||-|
* estimate in Euros based on 5,000 words or 15 pages