A Lightweight
Data Availability Policy
for Economic and Social History

Sharing data generated in research projects is increasingly being recognized as an academic priority. Journals could play an important role in this by engaging in a Data Availability Policy (DAP).

See How a DAP Works

The CLIO-DAP project

In February 2013 the Dutch Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) started a project called CLIO-DAP, which aims at stimulating leading journals in the field of economic and social history to improve the availability of research data that is connected to scholarly publications by adopting a Data Availability Policy.

The project aims to facilitate the sharing of research data connected to articles by making it easy for authors, editors and reviewers to submit data to selected trustworthy data repositories and by removing obstacles for re-use.

The adoption of a DAP implies an efficient communication between authors, editors, reviewers and data repositories. The CLIO-DAP project wants to explore whether leading journals are interested in adopting a DAP, if they need support for this, and how such support could be organised.

It explores which new workflows are needed and which existing ones can be adapted, and will demonstrate how such workflow requirements can function in practice using proven standards.

A demonstrator-service for enhanced publications will be built to showcase existing output from DAP-journals, illustrate the workflows and help convince stakeholders in other journals to adopt similar policies.

This will be done in cooperation with the IEHA (International Economic History Association). The demonstrator will encourage other journals to adopt a DAP as well.


CLIO-DAP explores and develops workflow services to facilitate 'enhanced publications' by linking articles with underlying datasets in the domain of economic and social history. Results may be incorporated in the CLIO-INFRA website and in the portal NARCIS.

The project will apply standards and best practices approved by the Common Lab Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (CLARIAH) wherever available and aims to fit in the emerging CLARIAH infrastructure.

What is a DAP?

A DAP is the commitment of a journal to require depositing the data on which an article is based, when the paper is submitted for publication. The DAP proposed here is lightweight in the sense that it does not require a data review together with the peer review of the article and postpones this to a later stage when a fellow researcher interested in the dataset may want to make a review. Variants are possible, in particular with regard to data review; a journal is free to decide for a combination of article and data review, but this may slow down the process.

Why is a DAP useful?

Sharing research data is increasingly being recognized as an academic priority by funders, researchers and publishers. The progress of research can highly benefit from communicating the data and the models on which publications are based. It helps not only to check the validity of the authors' conclusions, but also speed up and complete other projects by allowing reuse of data and building on published claims. Therefore, where data justify it, scholars should make them available in an appropriate data repository (also double depositing is possible).

Are there any exceptions?

Sometimes restrictions on openness of the deposited data are inevitable, which should be reported to the editors of the journal at time of submission of the article. The author should also indicate these restrictions at depositing the data in the repository. In special cases the editor may even grant exemption from the DAP under well motivated reasons.

More information

The FAQ list provides more details about several aspects of a DAP. The project documents contain background information about current data policies in this domain and about the design of the demonstrator service: