Feedback

The open exchange of information and ideas is critical to scientific progress and ACS’ mission of improving people’s lives through the transforming power of chemistry. ACS Publications’ portfolio of journals offer the highest levels of rigor in the review and publication of scientific articles and research data. Transparency and the open availability of research data are essential to enhancing both scientific progress and the public trust of those research results.

ACS strongly endorses The FAIR Data Principles and believes that where ethically and legally feasible, all research data should be findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable. ACS supports the Center for Open Science’s Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines, the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles, and the STM Brussels Declaration. ACS is a member of the Research Data Alliance. Through engagement with these community initiatives, we strive to promote best practices in research data availability and to bring those best practices to its community of researchers and journal authors to help improve the execution, communication, and reproducibility of science.

Open availability of research data offers the following benefits:

For authors of ACS journal articles

  • Open availability of data makes the related research more trustworthy and enhances scientific reputation.
  • Research funders are increasingly recognizing data as a valuable research output.
  • Making research data available and citable offers greater opportunity for the impact of research to be recognized.

For readers and the research community

  • Open data better allows researchers to reproduce and compare reported results.
  • Greater transparency makes research results and the work of scientists more trustworthy.
  • Making data available for reuse creates efficiencies in the research process, allowing greater potential for further scientific and economic development.

ACS Research Data Policy

Where ethically and legally feasible, all ACS journals strongly encourage authors to make the research data underlying their articles publicly available at the time of publication. For the purposes of this policy, research data is defined as materials and information used in the experiments that enable the validation of the conclusions drawn in the article. This includes primary data produced by the authors for the study being reported, secondary data reused or analyzed by the authors for the study, and any other materials necessary to reproduce or replicate the results. To ensure data accessibility, we encourage the use of open licenses for reuse of data, such as Creative Commons CC BY. You can learn more about standard reuse licenses at the Open Access Licensing Options page on the ACS Publications website.

Our data policy is deployed at one of the four levels described below. Each ACS journal will independently determine the level of policy required that reflects the needs of their specific communities. Because of the diversity of research data and the many field-specific differences, each journal may also have field-specific requirements for the open availability of particular data types, and authors should refer to the specific journal’s Author Guidelines for information on data requirements.

Research Data Policy Levels
All policy levels are subject to potential ethical and legal restrictions on the public release of data (see section below on Exceptions). Authors are advised to check the Author Guidelines for the journal to which they plan to submit for journal-specific data guidelines.
Level 1
Public data availability encouraged
The journal encourages all authors to publicly share all the data underlying the results reported in the paper, preferably via archiving in an appropriate public repository. Authors are encouraged to provide a Data Availability Statement describing the public availability of the data supporting the article’s conclusions. Publicly available data sets should be cited appropriately.
Level 2
Public data availability encouraged; Data Availability Statement required
The journal encourages all authors to publicly share all the data underlying the results reported in the paper, preferably via archiving in an appropriate public repository. Authors are required to provide a Data Availability Statement describing the public availability of the data supporting the article’s conclusions. Publicly available data sets should be cited appropriately.
Level 3
Public data availability required; Data Availability Statement required
The journal requires, as a condition of publication, all authors to publicly share all the data underlying the results reported in the paper, preferably via archiving in an appropriate public repository. Authors are required to provide a Data Availability Statement describing the public availability of the data supporting the article’s conclusions. Publicly available data sets should be cited appropriately.
Level 4
Public data availability required and data will be peer-reviewed; Data Availability Statement required
The journal requires, as a condition of publication, all authors to publicly share all the data underlying the results reported in the paper, preferably via archiving in an appropriate public repository. The data will undergo peer review along with the manuscript. Authors are required to provide a Data Availability Statement describing the public availability of the data supporting the article’s conclusions. Publicly available data sets should be cited appropriately.
POLICY LEVELLevel 1Level 2Level 3Level 4
Encourages Data SharingXXXX
Encourages Data Availability StatementXXXX
Requires Data Availability StatementXXX
Requires Data SharingXX
Requires Peer Review of DataX

Exceptions

Exceptions to data availability requirements or embargoes delaying data release are available where legal or ethical issues prevent immediate public sharing. This includes data that may reveal personal information of research subjects, data where informed consent for public sharing was not granted, and other legitimate restrictions. In such cases, please contact the relevant journal editorial office to disclose the rationale and request an exception.

Data Availability Statements

A Data Availability Statement should describe the availability of the data underlying the conclusions drawn in the research article and provide a means of access, where applicable, by linking to the data, preferably through the use of a persistent identifier such as a DOI or an Accession Number assigned by a data repository. The Data Availability Statement should be included in the manuscript under the Associated Content heading with the Supporting Information.

Although submission of data as part of an article’s Supplementary Information is acceptable, authors are encouraged to submit data in a format that can be most easily accessed and reused. ACS encourages authors to provide machine-readable data and to follow the FAIR Data Principles.

Sample Data Availability Statements
Data Availability
Example Text
All underlying data available in the article itself and its supplementary materials
The data underlying this study are available in the published article and its online supplementary material.
Data openly available in a public repository
The data underlying this study are openly available in [Repository Name] at [Persistent Link to data in Repository, e.g., DOI, Accession Number].
Data used in the article available from a source in the public domain
The data underlying this study are openly available in [Repository Name] at [Persistent Link to data in Repository, e.g., DOI, Accession Number]. These data were derived from sources in the public domain [list sources, including URLs].
Data available upon request due to legal/ethical reasons
The data underlying this study are not publicly available due to [explanation of reasons for not sharing, e.g., patient privacy issues]. The data are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request [list any registration or other requirements for access].
Data owned by a third party
The data underlying this study were provided by [Third Party] under license/by permission. Data are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request with the permission of [Third Party].
No new data generated, or article describes entirely theoretical research
No new data were generated or analyzed in support of this study.
Author elects not to make data available*
The data underlying this study are not publicly available [include rationale preventing public release of data].

Data Citation

ACS supports the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles, and data must be cited in the same manner as research articles, books, and other resources. Where the data used to support the conclusions in the research article are publicly available, authors are required to cite the data in the text of the manuscript and include a full citation to the data in the references list of the article.

Data citations should follow the format below, as noted in the ACS Style Quick Guide:

Author(s), Dataset Title, Data Repository or Archive, Year, Version (software), Global Persistent Identifier
Examples:
Uduwela, D. R.; Pabis, A.; Stevenson, B. J., Kamerlin, S. C .L.; McLeod, M.D. Data from:
Enhancing the steroid sulfatase activity of the arylsulfatase from Pseudomonas
aeruginosa, Dryad 2018. DOI: 10.5061/dryad.p5n151t

Ost, A. D.; Wu, T.; Hoschen, C; Mueller, C. W.; Wirtz, T.; Audinot, J. 4D Surface
Reconstructions to Study Microscale Structures and Functions in Soil Biogeochemistry.
Figshare 2021. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.1c02971.s002

Choosing an Appropriate Data Repository

Where possible, ACS recommends authors deposit data in discipline-specific, community-recognized repositories or in generalist repositories when no community resource is available. Authors should consult the journal Author Guidelines for specific repository recommendations or requirements for data types.

ACS strongly encourages authors to select a repository that issues a persistent unique identifier, such as a DOI or an Accession Number. This will help facilitate the discoverability and citation of deposited data. Repositories that focus on research data, are managed by a sustainable institution (such as a professional society or university), have a plan for long-term storage of and access to the data, and provide clear information about terms of use of the data are preferred.

To find an appropriate repository, authors may refer to re3data.org and FAIRsharing.org for information on available repositories, their certification status, and services offered.

Author Support

If you have questions about the ACS Research Data Policy, writing a Data Availability Statement, data citation, or other research data questions, please contact researchdata@acs.org. If you have questions about a specific ACS journal’s data policy, please refer to the Author Guidelines for that journal.