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The Royal Society

In this section:

The Royal Society is at the forefront of promoting Open Data throughout the scientific community.

Read the 'Science as an Open Enterprise' report published by The Royal Society in 2012 and see the chair of the report group, Professor Geoffrey Boulton, giving a University Lecture on this subject in February 2014.


Expectations of particular note

  • Datasets should be deposited in an appropriate, recognised, publicly available repository. Where no data-specific repository exists, authors should deposit their datasets in a general repository such as Dryad or Figshare or include them in the supplementary material.
  • Biology Letters, Proceedings B and Royal Society Open Science have Dryad data deposition integrated into the journal submission system.
  • The Royal Society will cover the cost of depositing up to 20GB of data with Dryad; simply select a Royal Society journal when depositing your data.
  • All manuscripts that report primary data (usually research articles) must include a Data Accessibility section that states where the article's supporting data can be accessed.
  • If the data has been deposited in an external repository the Data Accessibility section should list the database, accession number and link to the DOI for all data from the article that has been made publicly available, for instance:
    • DNA sequences: Genbank accessions F234391-F234402 (
    • Phylogenetic data, including alignments: TreeBASE accession number S9123 (
    • Climate data and MaxEnt input files: Dryad doi:10.5521/dryad.12311 (
  • Datasets that have been deposited in an external repository and have a DOI should also be appropriately cited in the manuscript and included in the reference list. When citing datasets, DOI names should be displayed as linkable, permanent URLs as recommended by DataCite.

The Royal Society has expectations not only for Royal Society-funded researchers but also for authors submitting manuscripts to one of the Royal Society's journals. 

  • All manuscripts submitted to Royal Society journals should contain a Data Accessibility section that states where the article's supporting data can be accessed. This section should also include details, where possible of where to access other relevant research materials such as statistical tools, protocols, software etc. can be accessed.
  • All relevant data and materials must be available at the initial submission stage, either as supplementary material or hosted in an external repository with a link included in the manuscript.
  • If the data is included in the article’s supplementary material this should be stated here, for instance: "The datasets supporting this article have been uploaded as part of the Supplementary Material".
  • All data supplements in Royal Society journals will be published under a CC-BY 3.0 licence, meaning data is freely available whilst ensuring that authors are given due academic credit.

Further details can be found in the author guidelines

Data management and sharing plan

  • The Society does not dictate a set format for data management and sharing plans. Where they are required,
    applicants should structure their plan in a manner most appropriate to the proposed research.
  • The data management and sharing plan should be no longer than 1500 characters.
  • In writing the data management and sharing plan you should consider:
    • What data outputs of value to the public will be generated?
    • Where and when will you make the data available?
    • How will you make data accessible by others?
    • How will you make data of high public interest accessible not only for those in the same or linked field, but also to a wider public audience?
    • Will any limits be placed on the data to be shared, for example, for the purposes of safeguarding commercial interests, personal information, safety or security of the data?
    • How will datasets be preserved to ensure they are of long-term benefit?

A template for The Royal Society data management and sharing plan is not provided. We can help you writing your plan or simply review it before submission; please, allow enough time for consultation.

If you receive an excellent overall assessment for your data management and sharing plan, we would appreciate if you could share it with the Research Data Management team as a good example of a Royal Society Plan for use within the University. We will fully acknowledge your permission to share, and access will be restricted to University users.

Research data management costs

  • For all its science journals, the Society will cover the cost of depositing up to 20GB of data with Dryad.

More information on costing research data management can be found in the section on costing of research data.


We can help you understand and meet the Royal Society requirements on research data, from writing the DMP to sharing your data. Simply contact us at any time, or come and see us during our open office hours, every Wednesday from 2pm to 4pm.    

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