Open access, shared data: PLOS' new data sharing policy.

28 February 2014

PLOS has revised their data sharing policy for all PLOS journals. From March 3, 2014, authors must make all data publicly available, without restriction, immediately upon publication of the article. Authors who submit to a PLOS journal will be asked to provide a "data availability" statement, describing where and how other researchers can access the dataset that supports the findings of their research. Research data and related metadata should be deposited in appropriate publicly accessible discipline or institutional repository.

There are exceptions, but only in those specific cases where it is not possible to make the data public:  for example where a dataset contains participants' personal information or the researcher does not have the right to publicly share the data. In these cases, authors must make data "available upon request" and identify a point of contact for requesting access the research data. 

See the
Research Data Management Guidelines for information on how to share research data, including information on choosing an appropriate open access discipline or institutional repository; and how to control access to data that cannot be made openly accessible.

For further advice, contact