Open data

Increasing access to research data

Increasing access to research data helps researchers to validate and build upon important discoveries and observations. At Elsevier, we are keen to support researchers to store, share, discover, and use data. We have already been helping authors to post their data in relevant public data repositories and link back to their published article. With our latest Open Data pilot we are adding another option by providing authors with the opportunity to make their supplementary files with raw research data available open access on ScienceDirect.

What are the benefits?

  • Promotes data sharing: Authors can easily share their raw research data with the public, giving their readers the opportunity to validate, compare and build upon their findings.
  • Greater choice: Another open access option for authors if there isn't a suitable data repository for their research data.
  • Easy compliance: Helps authors to comply with their funding body requirements regarding data deposits. 
  • Ensures author credit: Reuse of downloaded data sets is determined by a Creative Commons CC BY user license, giving readers clear guidelines about how to properly re-use and give credit.

What is the Open Data pilot?

Elsevier supports the principle that "Raw research data should be made freely available to all researchers" (as expressed in the STM Brussels Declaration) and authors are free to publically post their raw research data (see Author Rights).

With this Open Data pilot, we are taking the next step by providing authors with the option to upload their raw research data as a supplementary file to be published open access alongside their article on ScienceDirect. There is no charge for authors or readers, and reuse is determined by the Creative Commons CC BY user license

Elsevier's Open Data pilot will initially be live in more than 20 journals across different disciplines. We will be evaluating the feedback from the pilot to determine how to further expand this initiative. See below for a list of participating journals.

How does it work?

When publishing in one of the participating journals, authors simply follow three easy steps:

  1. When submitting to one of the participating journals, authors upload their raw research data as supplementary material and classify the file as "raw research data".
  2. Editors and reviewers validate that the submitted material is indeed considered to be raw research data in this field.
  3. After acceptance, the data file is made available to both subscribers and non-subscribers to view and download from ScienceDirect under a CC BY user license.

What type of data classifies as Open Data?

While the precise notion of what constitutes "raw" research data will differ from field to field, largely speaking any data that are the direct result of observations or experimentation without processing, analysis or other intellectual input would classify. This includes, for example, the output of a measurement device, data from social surveys, digital scans, etc.

Excluded from this pilot are, for example, the output of model calculations, computer code, descriptive texts, or data in figures.

If you are in doubt as to whether data should classify as "raw data", please contact us at