Posted by: cjlortie | August 11, 2012

Data samples & data abstracts alongside Oikos papers

I was wondering what ecofolks thought of this: Oikos publishing a small data sample alongside each paper (when authors provide). This could be as simple as a small txt file or flat sheet showing the data structure with a few reps. Of course, an eml or link to the full dataset is preferable and should also be there, but it might be nice to at least have a little preview right there we could click on. In addition to this, we could publish a small file describing the meta-data, formally or informally, and could include a list of all factors and responses measured. This would be so fascinating. I don’t see this as impediment to full and open access to data. This would be a journal-level contribution to the process. It is also a teaser for readers to get the community wanting to see more data.


  1. Why not require that all data go into Dryad?

    • Great idea. I am discussing with the other editors already and have contacted dryad. Are you proposing this because they have data abstracts and the capacity to sample data or because you think that the ‘trailer’ idea or supplement is too small a step?

      • Why have only a slice when you can have the whole pie? While it’s nice to see a data preview, if you are aiming for reproducible research and clear understanding, then all of the data should be available. Dryad provides a great way to archive data with enough information that it can be reusable – I think it’s a great add-on for journals to take advantage of and keep the culture of open science growing.

      • OK, I want the whole pie too.

  2. Wonderful idea. Sample data on an excel sheet would indicate the rigor of the work, which will also be a good instruction for young scientists..

    • Yes, I think so too. It is not gold standard similar to what most of the comments & emails by established scientists have indicated but I see it as instructive and a realistic starting point. Truthfully, when I read a fun paper, I want to just see the data not redo all the stats.

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