eLife signs Statement on Harmonizing Research Policies

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The following statement was issued by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) on July 7, 2016 ( Statement on Harmonizing Research Policies Approved by 15 Global Organizations). eLife is pleased to be an original signatory.

Statement on Harmonizing Research Policies

On October 7, 2015, a group of research funders, publishers and organizations attended a meeting convened by SPARC to discuss how their respective policies around sharing research outputs – starting with research data – could be made more aware of and interoperable between each other. The intent, expressed by all present, was not to simply generate another workshop white paper nor just a set of principles. Rather building on the efforts that have gone before, the group aimed to generate a set of actions, that if committed to and implemented by our respective organizations, would incite real change towards open science.

In particular, the participating organizations agree to commit to moving our respective organizations towards implementing the following actions, which could help promote open science:

Support for data citation: In reference sections of documents submitted to us (e.g. manuscripts, grant proposals, tenure dossiers), data and software will increasingly be required to be cited in the same way as publications are at present.

Support for monitoring data-sharing policies: The participating organizations will expand their efforts to monitor compliance with their respective data sharing policies and with open science principles more broadly. For example, the group will encourage the wider adoption of data availability statements in grant proposals and papers and will highlight best practices for sharing research.

Support for developing interlinking policy and infrastructure: In order to further these goals, we will stimulate the creation of policy-related infrastructure, e.g. tools that help complement text versions of sharing policies or sharing plans in a way that allows machines to assist with compliance monitoring or with facilitating the discoverability of shared resources.

A summary of the meeting is now available. The group will publicly report back (via announcements from SPARC) twice a year on the progress in implementing these actions. This will continue until these commitments have been met.

Signatories to the Statement

Association of Research Libraries

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences

Center for Effective Global Action

Center for Open Science




Laura and John Arnold Foundation

National Institutes of Health


Public Library of Science

RIO Journal


Wellcome Trust