Although research papers and reports are often taken to be the more tangible products of original research, those are processed, finished, products: the basic, immediate, product is data, which is why “raw data” is the term often used. Increasingly, the demand for open access to papers published in journals is being supplemented with the demand that the experimental data on which the papers are based also be made freely available.


The purpose of a data availability statement

·         To make research more transparent, making it possible to scrutinise original data and subject it to different tests.

·         To confirm compliance with the requirement, if any, stipulated by the agency funding the research as applicable.

·        To enable wider exploitation of data, such as for meta-analyses or even for various purposes, purposes that can be quite different from those for which the data were collected or generated.

A data availability statement is a statement appended to a research paper or report informing its readers that the relevant data are available; in its more elaborate form, the statement supplies details of how the data may be accessed. In some ways, inserting a data availability statement in the text of a research paper is similar to such statements as those of conflicts of interest, sources of funding, and the contribution of each author in a multi-author paper.

The text of any data availability statement is shaped by several considerations including:

·         nature of the research or experiment,

·         source of the data,

·         extent to which the data are being made available,

·         requirements of the journal to which the manuscript is being submitted,

·         channel through which the data are being shared.

It is also possible that (a) the research generated no new or original data or (b) certain conditions prevent the authors from making the data available (e.g., the data were obtained after signing a “non-disclosure agreement” or from a private archive). In both cases, a simple statement to that effect is usually sufficient.

Here are a few sample texts that can be used to write a data availability statement:

·         Additional data are made available in supplementary tables of this manuscript.

·         The relevant experimental data are available from a repository, namely XYZ (name of the depository), and can be accessed through the following link <the relevant URL>.

·         The authors will supply the relevant data in response to reasonable requests.

·         The data on which the study is based were accessed from a repository and are available for downloading through the following link <the relevant URL>.

The American Chemical Society recently launched a pilot programme, which, beginning September 2022, requires authors submitting manuscripts to three of the society’s journals to supply such statements either at the time of submission or during the process of peer review.1

1Data availability statements in the Journal of Organic Chemistry, Organic Letters, and ACS Organic & Inorganic Au. <>

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