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Open Data at the BMC Series

Our principles, policies and publishing options

We believe that data should be open, accessible and reusable. Data sharing helps speed up the pace of discovery and its benefits to society.

The BMC Series is pioneering new approaches to data sharing and open data and we are committed to supporting researchers in sharing their data, helping to make data sharing the new normal.

Openly sharing data has benefits for the individual researchers, the research communities and also society. It advances reproducibility, increases credibility, and can enhance collaboration, but it can also increase the trust in research and strengthen links between different stakeholders.

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Data publishing at the BMC Series

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Valuable data often go unpublished when they could be helping to progress science. Hence, the BMC Series introduced data notes, a short article type allowing you to describe your data and publish them to make your data easier to find, cite and share.

Data notes are peer-reviewed, indexed publications, and they are purely a description of data available in an open repository, and require no analysis or interpretation. A data note is suitable for any data. It can be for the unpublished data from an article, or it could be for data that didn't make it into a paper - or data you plan to use in a future research article!

Infographic of a Date NoteHave a look at our infographic that outlines what information goes into a data note and how it's laid out.

You can publish your data in BMC Genomic Data, for genomic, transcriptomic and high-throughput genotype data, or in BMC Research Notes, for research data from across all natural and clinical sciences. Don't leave your work languishing on a hard drive: deposit your datasets in an open repository and publish a data note now.

And did you know...?
A recent study showed that linking articles to the supporting data in a repository was associated with an average 25% increase in citations.

Discover our data content

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At the BMC Series, we offer specialized article types, such as Databases and data notes, to provide the community with options for data-specific publications. Additionally, our authors are encouraged to share their data and an Availability of Data and Materials statement is mandatory for all published content.

We invite you to explore a selection of data notes and data-focused articles from across the BMC Series portfolio here.

Our policies on data sharing

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The BMC Series follows the policies of the BMC journals and is committed to open data sharing.

Availability of datasets

Where a widely established research community expectation for data archiving in public repositories exists, submission to a community-endorsed, public repository is mandatory. 

The BMC Series strongly encourages that all datasets on which the conclusions of the paper rely should be available to readers. We encourage authors to ensure that their datasets are either deposited in publicly available repositories (where available and appropriate) or presented in the main manuscript or additional supporting files whenever possible. If a dataset is not able to be deposited in any of the above repositories due to legal guidelines or ethical reasons, this must be clearly stated in the “Availability of Data and Materials” section.

Data citation

BMC endorses the Force 11 Data Citation Principles and requires that all publicly available datasets be fully referenced in the reference list with an accession number or unique identifier such as a digital object identifier (DOI).

Authors are required to formally cite any datasets stored in external repositories that are mentioned within their manuscript, including the main datasets that are the focus of the submission, as well as any other datasets that have been used in the work. For previously published datasets, we ask authors to cite both the related research articles and the datasets themselves. All methods, software, and code developed for the manuscript should include a citation on the reference list. 

All Springer Nature journals, including the BMC Series, are participants in the Initiative for Open Citations. As such, data citations are included in full in the formal reference list, exported to Crossref and are openly available.

For more information about our policies on data sharing, please navigate to the journal-specific submission guidelines. There, you may also find out about the sharing of code and software, the availability of research materials, as well as preregistration of studies and reporting standards.

How to support open data and find assistance

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Across the BMC and Springer Nature, we are providing opportunities to get involved with open data and resources to support researchers in making their data available. 

Are you interested in being part of the research data conversation? Why not join the Springer Nature Research Data community to read up on blogs and follow expert discussions on the topic. 

To find out about white papers and reports, and Springer Nature’s community involvement, visit the publisher's open data page and stay up to date with the latest postings on The Source blog network.

You can also browse our extensive author services on research data. Here, you can find out more about research data policies and review our data repository guidance

And if you have specific questions related to your research data, reach out to our team of research data editors for advice through the research data help desk.