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About

Focus and Scope

Open Health Data publishes data papers, which provide a concise description of a dataset and where to find it.  A data paper is a publication that is designed to make other researchers aware of data that is of potential use to them for scientific and educational purposes. Data papers can describe deposited data from studies that have not been published elsewhere (including replication research) but also from studies that have previously been published in another journal. As such the data paper describes the methods used to create the dataset, its structure, its reuse potential, and a link to its location in a repository. It is important to note that a data paper does not replace a research article, but rather complements it. When mentioning the data behind a study, a research paper should reference the data paper for further details. The data paper similarly should contain references to any research papers associated with the dataset.

Any kind of health and medical data is acceptable. In addition, Open Health Data encourages the deposition of grey literature, such as research study protocols, data management plans, consent forms, participant guidance documents and white paper reports.


Publication Frequency

This journal publishes continuously, with papers coming online as soon as they have passed peer review.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Authors of articles published in Open Health Data remain the copyright holders and grant third parties the right to use, reproduce and share the article according to the Creative Commons license agreement.


Archiving Policy

The journal’s publisher, Ubiquity Press, focuses on making content discoverable and accessible through indexing services. Content is also archived around the world to ensure long-term availability.

Ubiquity Press journals are indexed by the following services:

CrossRef, JISC KB+, SHERPA RoMEO, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), EBSCOHost, and Google Scholar. In addition, all journals are available for harvesting via OAI-PMH.

To ensure permanency of all publications, this journal also utilises CLOCKSS, and LOCKSS archiving systems to create permanent archives for the purposes of preservation and restoration.

If Open Health Data is not indexed by your preferred service, please let us know by emailing support@ubiquitypress.com or alternatively by making an indexing request directly with the service.


Recommended Repositories

Recommended repositories

A list of repositories that meet our peer-review requirements and are recommended for the archiving of Open Health Data software will be added very shortly. Please contact usif you would like to recommend that we add a particular repository to our list.
Discipline-specific repositoriesGeneral repositoriesInstitutional repositories
Dryad
UKDA
Physionet
Open Health Data Dataverse
Figshare
SND
Zenodo
UCL Discovery
eResearch South Australia



ads logo
Locationhttp://thedata.harvard.edu/dvn/dv/openhealthdata
Focus and suitability Data can be uploaded to the Open Health Data Dataverse Repository designed specifically for papers in Open Health Data. We recommended this repository to authors because it is managed entirely by the Open Health Data editorial staff and ensures maximum interoperability between datasets and data papers.
CostFree for all Open Health Data authors.
LicensesCC0
Identifiers usedDOI
SustainabilityThe Dataverse Network is an open-source application funded by Harvard University.
Deposit instructions

Depositing data into the Dataverse is currently done manually:

  1. Go to the following link: http://thedata.harvard.edu/dvn/dv/openhealthdata and register for an account.
  2. Once logged in, create a new study and follow the instructions to deposit your data. Ensure that your data conforms to the journal's peer review requirements
  3. You will receive a handle ID shortly after your submit your data. Please add this to the identifier field of your data paper.
  4. Once your paper has passed peer-review, the journal team will add the citation to your Dataverse entry. 



Locationhttps://data.sa.edu.au/
Focus and suitability The focus is for research data generated by researchers at South Australian universities, and in the South Australian government. The reason for this is that eResearch SA (the organisation that runs this service) is a collaborative joint venture of those universities, and exists to serve their research ICT needs.
CostNil for the researchers described above
LicensesChosen by the researchers whose data is stored. We recommend the AusGOAL suite of licences in the first instance: http://www.ausgoal.gov.au/the-ausgoal-licence-suite/
Identifiers usedDOI
SustainabilitySustainability of all eResearch SA services is dependent on ongoing funding by the universities we serve.
Deposit instructions

At the moment eRSA takes care of upload internally as part of our service. There is currently no provision for researchers to upload data themselves. Visit the website for further details.


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Locationhttp://datadryad.org
Focus and suitability Dryad is an international repository of data underlying peer-reviewed articles in the basic and applied biosciences.
Cost$80
LicensesCC0
Identifiers usedDOI
SustainabilityDryad Dryad is currently applying for status as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit and is currently implementing a business model to sustainably fund its operations through deposit charges. It has received grants from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (USA), the Joint Information Systems Committee (UK) and the National Science Foundation (USA). Dryad participates in the DataONE network (the Data Observation Network for Earth, http://dataone.org), and is actively developing partnerships with other international data networks and scholarly publishing organizations.
Deposit instructions

Depositing data associated with a Open Health Data paper in Dryad is currently a manual process:

  1. Create an account with Dryad and upload your data (submission page; video overview)
  2. Check that your deposit also conforms to the Open Health Data peer review requirements.
  3. When the data has been made public on the Dryad site, it will be assigned a DOI. Please enter this in your paper under Repository Location.
  4. Once your paper has passed peer review and been published, please add the full reference for the paper (including the DOI) to Dryad.

figshare logo
Locationhttp://figshare.com
Focus and suitability Figshare takes software from all subject areas, and is suitable for small to medium sized projects that do not require specialised curation.
CostFree. "Figshare gives users unlimited public space and 1GB of private storage space for free."
Licenses"All figures, media and multiple file uploads are published under a CC-BY license. All datasets are published under CC0."
Identifiers usedHandle
Sustainability"Figshare is an independent body that receives support from Digital Science. 'Digital Science's relationship with figshare represents the first of its kind in the company's history: a community- based, open science project that will retain its autonomy whilst receiving support from the division.'"
Deposit instructionsTo deposit data associated with an Open Health Datapaper in figshare, please follow these steps:
  1. Create an account with figshare.
  2. Upload your data as either a fileset (most appropriate if you have multiple files) or a dataset.
  3. Check that your deposit also conforms to the Open Health Data peer review requirements.
  4. When the data has been made public on the figshare site, it will be assigned a handle identifier. Please enter this in your paper under Repository Location.
  5. Once your paper has passed peer review and been published, please add the reference to the description field in figshare, and add the Open Health Data DOI to the links also.

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Locationhttp://www.physionet.org
Focus and suitability PhysioNet offers free access via the web to large collections of recorded physiologic signals and related open-source software.
CostFree
LicensesGPL
Identifiers usedPermanent URI
Sustainability

PhysioNet has operated without interruption since its establishment in 1999, with funding from the NIH. Its infrastructure and open-access content is replicated by ten independently funded public mirrors, and numerous private mirrors, in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia (see http://physionet.org/mirrors/ for links to the public mirrors). One of the public mirrors is maintained by the NIH's National Library of Medicine (NLM) in Bethesda, Maryland. If the PhysioNet project becomes unable to continue operation at some time in the future, the mirrors will be able to continue functioning as archives and distributors of PhysioNet's open access content. Users are welcome to establish their own mirrors; detailed instructions for doing so can be found at http://physionet.org/mirrors/mirror-howto.shtml.

Contributions that have not yet been transferred to open-access areas of PhysioNet are kept in password-protected workspaces ("projects") that are backed up by the PhysioNet project only (not by the mirrors). Using standard open-source software, the owner of each such project may create a fully functional copy of its protected workspace on standard PC hardware. If for any reason it becomes necessary to discontinue its services to the project, PhysioNet agrees to provide at least sixty days' notice to the principal investigator to permit the project to construct such a copy.

Deposit instructions

All contributions are developed and reviewed in password-protected workspaces on PhysioNetWorks before inclusion in open-access areas of PhysioNet. If you wish to contribute data or open-source software, begin by making a personal PhysioNetWorks account (see http://physionet.org/users). After doing so, see "How to create and manage a PhysioNetWorks project" (at https://physionet.org/users/help/pnw-howto.shtml) for details on creating a project (a password-protected archive) for your contribution.


zenodo logo
Locationhttp://snd.gu.se
Focus and suitability The Swedish National Data Service (SND) is a service organization for Swedish research within the humanities, social sciences, and health sciences. SND helps enable Swedish and international researchers gain access to existing digital data within and outside of Sweden.
CostFree
LicensesDetermined by submitter: CC0 and CC-BY accepted.
Identifiers usedDOI
SustainabilitySND is funded by the Swedish Research Council as a national center located at University of Gothenburg, and an important part of Sweden’s research infrastructure.
Deposit instructions

To deposit data associated with a Open Health Data paper in SND please follow these steps:

  1. Visit the following link: http://snd.gu.se/en/deposit-data/webform
  2. Upload your data using the web form and input relevant metadata.
  3. Check that your deposit also conforms to the Open Health Data peer review requirements.
  4. You will receive a confirmation e-mail, and will then be contacted by SND staff about possible metadata and documentation issues.
  5. Once your paper has passed peer review and been published, please add the DOI and citation to the SND metadata.

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Locationhttp://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/
Focus and suitability UCL Discovery showcases UCL's research outputs, giving access to journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, digital web resources, theses, datasets, software and much more, from all UCL disciplines. The repository also enables UCL researchers to comply with research funder policies on open access.
CostFree to UCL researchers.
LicensesAll open licences permitted
Identifiers usedDOI
SustainabilityUCL Discovery is maintained by UCL, a major international research institution ranked seventh in the world's top ten universities by the QS World University Rankings (2011).
Deposit instructionsDepositing data associated with a Open Health Datapaper in UCL Discovery is currently done manually:
  1. Log in to the UCL RPS system.
  2. Follow the general guide to depositing, with the following modifications:
  3. Expand the publications window so that it includes software, and click 'Add new'.
  4. If your software consists of more than one file, please compress these into one zip file and upload this.
  5. Place your licence information in the Notes section. Example text: "This software is licensed under a GNU General Public License (GPL)."
  6. Check that your deposit also conforms to the Open Health Data peer review requirements.
  7. When your software has been made public on the UCL discovery site, notify the Open Health Data editor and you will receive a DOI. Please enter this in the DOI field.
  8. Once your paper has passed peer review and been published, please enter the reference for it into the Notes section in UCL Discovery (e.g. 'This software is described in the following software paper: …').

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Locationhttp://www.data-archive.ac.uk
Focus and suitability The UK Data Archive is curator of the largest collection of digital data in the social sciences and humanities in the United Kingdom.
CostFree (details)
LicensesAny appropriate license accepted including CC0, Open Data Commons Licence, Open Government Licence (details).
Identifiers usedDOI
SustainabilityThe UKDA's organisation and activities are funded by the ESRC, the JISC and the University of Essex.
Deposit instructions

Depositing data associated with a data paper with the UKDA is currently a manual process:

  1. Deposit your data with the UKDA (instructions)
  2. Check that your deposit also conforms to the Open Health Data peer review requirements.
  3. When the data has been made public on the UKDA site, it will be assigned a DOI. Please enter this in your paper under Repository Location.
  4. Once your paper has passed peer review and been published, please add the full reference for the paper (including the DOI) to the UKDA record.

zenodo logo
Locationhttps://zenodo.org/
Focus and suitability ZENODO welcomes all research outputs from all fields of science in any format and size. ZENODO is furthermore integrated into reporting lines for research funded by the European Commission via OpenAIRE. Ubiquity Press therefore recoommends this repository for data funded by the European Commission.
CostFree
LicensesAny appropriate license accepted including CC0, Open Data Commons Licence, Open Government Licence.
Identifiers usedDOI
SustainabilityZENODO is developed and operated by CERN under the EU-funded OpenAIREplus project in synergy with other large services running on the same software such as CERN Document Server and INSPIRE-HEP. All uploads are stored in the same cloud infrastructure as research data from CERN's Large Hadron Collider. The entire platform is further more fully open - metadata is licensed under CC0, it's source code is licensed under GNU GPL and ZENODO furthermore allows harvesting of the entire repository by external sources.
Deposit instructions

To deposit data associated with a paper in ZENODO please follow these steps:

  1. Create an account with ZENODO.
  2. Upload your data and edit metadata such as title, description, authors.
  3. Check that your deposit also conforms to the Open Health Data peer review requirements.
  4. The data will go public immediately after submission and is instantly assigned a Digital Object Identifier. Please enter this in your Open Health Data paper under Repository Location.
  5. Once your paper has passed peer review and been published, please add the DOI and citation to the ZENODO Related Identifiers field.

FAQ

What kinds of data can I publish?

All kinds of data are welcome. We are particularly interested in data that may have reuse potential or which is required to validate your research. Many research outputs meet these requirements. For example:

  • case study data
  • computer simulation data
  • experimental data
  • interview and survey data
  • neuroimaging data
  • grey literature (white papers, consent forms, study protocols, etc.)

What is a data paper?

A data paper is a publication that is designed to make other researchers aware of data that is of potential use to them. As such it describes the methods used to create the dataset, its structure, its reuse potential, and a link to its location in a repository. It is important to note that a data paper does not replace a research article, but rather complements it. When mentioning the data behind a study, a research paper should reference the data paper for further details. The data paper similarly should contain references to any research papers associated with the dataset.

How do I submit a data paper?

Please see our ‘how to submit a data paper’ page.

How does Open Health Data peer review work?

Please see our overview of the peer review process.

Which open license should I apply to my data?

We recommend the following licenses for open data:

All of the above licenses carry an obligation for anyone using the data to properly attribute it. The main differences are whether this is a social requirement (CC0 and PDDL) or a legal one (CC-By and ODC-By). The less restrictive your license, the greater the potential for reuse.

We do not recommend licenses that impose commercial or other restrictions on the use of data. Generally, such licenses can prevent use of data by charities and the media, and make the remixing of data from various international sources legally problematic. At the same time, why impose commercial restrictions on publicly funded data, such that the public themselves are not able to build profitable or sustainable solutions that utilise it? There are of course some situations in which data must have a more restrictive license (e.g. funder requirements), and the editorial team will consider these on a case-by-case basis.

Which repositories do you recommend for public health data?

Please see our list of recommended repositories for examples. Other repositories may be acceptable, provided they meet the criteria below. Please contact us if you would like to discuss adding a new repository to the recommended list.

What are the criteria for a repository to be accepted?

Data must be made available via a suitable repository. To meet our acceptance criteria, repositories must:

  • be suitable for the type of data involved
  • be sustainable (i.e. it must have funding and plans in place to ensure the long-term preservation of the data)
  • allow open licences
  • provide persistent identifiers (e.g. DOI, handle, ARC etc.)

What does ‘open’ mean?

The term ‘open’ in this context is well described by the Open Knowledge Foundation: “A piece of content or data is open if anyone is free to use, reuse, and redistribute it — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share-alike.”

What are the benefits of publishing data?

Allowing others to reuse your data leads to more efficient science, as well as new kinds of studies previously not possible that involve the combination of multiple data sources. At the same time open data can be reused by the wider public for a range of purposes including teaching, journalism and citizen science projects. These and other benefits are summarised in the diagram on our about page.

Making research outputs available for others to work with and build upon is part of the social contract of academia. Data papers mean that data you have released can be cited and that those citations can be tracked. This is not only an indirect measure of impact and therefore important for career progression, but it can also help you understand who is using the data, and lead to new collaborations.

Do I have to make my data open?

It is difficult to argue that the results of publicly funded research should not be made publicly available, and many funding bodies are increasing the degree to which they encourage open archiving. We believe that the benefits listed above are already a strong incentive to publish data openly, but there are some occasions (e.g. source material copyright issues, subject privacy concerns) where it may not be possible.

Open Health Data will however only publish data papers for datasets archived with open licenses. Datasets that need to be partially redacted for legal reasons will be considered by the editorial team on a case by case basis.

How do I cite data?

If you use data from a repository that has been released under an open license then you are obliged to cite it (even under a CC0 license). By citing the data paper you also reward the author for sharing their data, as these citations can be tracked as for any scholarly paper (unfortunately there is no system for tracking the data citations themselves yet, which is another reason that a data paper is so useful). You should therefore include a reference to the data paper describing the data, followed by a reference to the data in the repository itself. In order for this to work it is essential that the citations are in the references section of the article and include the DOIs (or any other identifier the repository might use), e.g.:

References

Bevan, A. and Conolly, J. (2012) Intensive Survey Data from Antikythera, Greece. Journal of Open Archaeology Data 1(1), DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/4f3bcb3f7f21d

Bevan, A. and Conolly, J. (2012) The Antikythera Survey Project [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] (http://dx.doi.org/10.5284/1012484)

Do I have to pay to publish in this journal?

Article Publication: £100
If this paper is accepted for publication, you will be asked to pay an Article Publication Fee to cover publications costs.

If you do not have funds to pay such fees, you will have an opportunity to waive each fee. We do not want fees to prevent the publication of worthy work.


Publication Ethics

Ubiquity Press, the journal’s publisher, is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA), and the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP). The Press recognises its responsibility as a guardian of the scholarly record and takes an active role in establishing standards and policies in publication ethics.

The Editors of Open Health Data have committed to maintaining high editorial standards through rigorous peer review and strict ethical policies. The Editors follow the COPE code of conduct and refer to COPE for guidance as appropriate. The journal and the publisher ensure that advertising and commercial interests do not impact or influence editorial decisions.

The journal uses anti-plagiarism software to ensure academic integrity.



Advertisement Policy

The journal only displays advertisements that are of relevance to its scope and will be of interest to the readership (e.g. upcoming conferences). All advertising space is provided free of charge and the editor and publisher have the right to decline or withdraw adverts at any point.

If you wish to propose a potential advert then please contact the editorial team. All adverts are displayed in the right column of the journal and will need to fit a 120 pixel wide space. All advert images will have to be provided to the publisher.


History

Open Health Data was previously published as the Journal of Open Public Health Data (ISSN: 2053-2407). The title and scope of the journal were amended on 1 January 2014 to support a broader range of health research.

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