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Research data, publishing & the Wellcome Trust

Researchers at the School who are in receipt of funding from the Wellcome Trust and have had an open access fee paid have a number of requirements when publishing.

They should license the research papers using the Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC-BY) so they may be freely copied and re-used (for example, for text- and data-mining purposes or creating a translation), provided that such uses are fully attributed. Secondly they should acknowledge the funder and the relevant Wellcome Trust grant number on the paper itself and thirdly they should include a clear statement about how the datasets and materials reported in the paper can be accessed.

Here’s a little more information on that last requirement.

The Trust ask researchers to pose the following questions:

  • Are the datasets underpinning the paper available for validation and reuse?
  • Does the paper include a clear statement about how the datasets and materials reported in the paper can be accessed?
Image: Research by Anders Sandberghttps://flic.kr/p/4qfJux

Image: Research by Anders Sandberg https://flic.kr/p/4qfJux (CC-BY)

 

According to the Trust as an absolute minimum, Trust-funded researchers must ensure that datasets underpinning published research findings are made available to other researchers on request, (as long as it meets ethics approvals and consents that cover the data and any valid restrictions relating to intellectual property. Restrictions might include cases of third-party intellectual property ownership or cases in which it is necessary to limit or delay data sharing to protect intellectual property, or develop a technology, in a manner that maximises the ultimate health benefit. If you provided a data management and sharing plan as part of your original grant application, you are expected to follow the approach set out in your plan. Any significant changes in approach should be discussed with the Trust.

The Trust also encourages all researchers to maximise opportunities to deposit datasets underlying research papers in recognised community data repositories, where these exist. In fields where such databases are not yet established, they encourage researchers to consider the use of emerging resources, such as Dryad [http://datadryad.org/] and FigShare [http://figshare.com/]. The School is launching its own repository for research data later this year (June 2015) – more details of this can be found from the Research Data Management Service at the School. Within the School itself there are projects such as Indepth (http://www.indepth-network.org/) and ALPHAAnalysing Longitudinal Population-based HIV / AIDS data on Africa (http://alpha.lshtm.ac.uk/) that routinely share research data.

Wherever it is appropriate all Wellcome Trust-funded publications must include a clear statement about how the data, models and other materials underpinning the publication can be accessed by researchers and other users. Where the data are available in a community repository, relevant accession numbers should be provided. Where data or materials are held locally by the investigator or a managed access process is required, a clear point of contact or web link should be provided.

If the journal does not have a specific requirement or standard format for this information, the statement should be included as part of the methods section of the paper. In any event, the statement should be within the main body of the paper and not within supplementary materials. You can see examples of data publication from Wellcome funded authors via PLoS.

You can find out more about Wellcome’s requirement to share the data underlying published research findings from this published checklist.

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