Data Accessibility

Data access and transparency

As part of efforts to foster open science, the JIE has implemented several guidelines/protocols for greater transparency, accessibility, and reusability of data.  This includes:

  • minimum publication requirements regarding citation, referencing, and data presentation, and
  • optional “data openness” badges rewarding articles that contain transparent and accessible data.

Minimum requirements

Database citations

All databases used in the article should be directly cited. Database citation must provide sufficient information to unambiguously identify the specific database used. Whenever applicable, this citation should provide the database version number and any other disambiguating (unique) identifiers, the year of publication, the date of access, and the location at which it was accessed. Importantly, this location can be either a URL or software in which the database is embedded. Please use only static URLs, preferably with persistent identifiers or digital object identifiers (DOIs).

This database information should be arranged to follow the APA citation style for Data Sets, Software, Measurement Instruments, and Apparatus:

Author, A. A. (year-of-database-publication). Name of Data Set or Software/Program (Version number and other disambiguation identifiers in parentheses, where applicable). [“Database record” OR a complete description of the data form]. Retrieved from Database Name. OR http://xxxxx. Accessed DD Month YYYY.

The necessary identifier varies from dataset to dataset, so please respect or exceed the data providers’ suggested citation information (see, for example, for instructions from ecoinvent).

Examples of required, direct database citations

Example 1: EXIOBASE Database

EXIOBASE Consortium. (2014). EXIOBASE (Version 2.2.2). [Product-by-product, industry-technology-assumption coefficients, for year 2007]. Retrieved from EXIOBASE. Accessed 12 Feb 2016.

Example 2: Ecoinvent dataset as implemented in LCA software

Ecoinvent Centre. (2016). Ecoinvent database (Version 3.3). [Cut-off system model]. Retrieved from Simapro Software version 8.4. http://dx.doi.xxxxx. Accessed 23 Oct 2017.

Complementary database citations

In addition to the direct database citations described above, the authors are free to cite a scientific publication or a report that accompanies the database. This may be necessary to comply with the citation requirements and license agreement of the database provider. However, this complementary citation does not replace a direct citation of the database, which remains mandatory to clearly identify the version of the database used.

Examples of complementary database citations

Example 3: Complementary citation for EXIOBASE:

Wood, R., Stadler, K., Bulavskaya, T., Lutter, S., Giljum, S., de Koning, A., … Tukker, A. (2014). Global Sustainability Accounting—Developing EXIOBASE for Multi-Regional Footprint Analysis. Sustainability, 7(1), 138–163.

Example 4: Complementary citation requested for ecoinvent (further information in these instructions from ecoinvent):

Wernet, G., Bauer, C., Steubing, B., Reinhard, J., Moreno-Ruiz, E., & Weidema, B. (2016). The ecoinvent database version 3 (part I): Overview and methodology. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 21(9), 1218–1230.

Presentation of underlying data

All data that are graphically represented in figures must also be published in a numerical, tabular format to ensure clear and unequivocal interpretation and ease of data reuse for the reviewers and readers. This procedure avoids confusion in the inspection and usage of quantitative information contained in all key results presented as figures and graphs without requiring the visual extraction or approximation of the underlying data. A file format that ensures that the numerical data can be readily recognized by both software and humans should be chosen, such as comma-separated-value (CSV) files or a spreadsheet (e.g., .xlsx or .ods files).

Authors are free to fulfill this requirement by submitting the data files as supporting information (SI) to the article or by publishing the dataset in a repository and citing it (see subsection on Minimum Requirements, just above). In either case the relationship between the data and the manuscript figure must be explicit in the data file, (e.g., “Data plotted in figure 4 of the main text”).

Optional data publication rewarded by Data Openness Badges

Except for data that are directly represented in the figures and tables of the manuscript (see subsection on Minimum Requirements, just above), there is currently no requirement for publication of data in support of research articles submitted to the Journal of Industrial Ecology.

However, authors are strongly encouraged to openly publish the primary data and system models that underpin their analysis, to increase the transparency, reusability, and impact of their research. Such complete or partial publication of system descriptions may entitle the article to a data openness badge of recognition. This flexible badge system rewards both the extent of data contribution and the formatting of this data for increased interoperability and accessibility (see definitions and criteria for the four levels on our site).

These data should be published in a scientific repository (e.g., Figshare, Zenodo) and cited with their digital object identifier (DOI) in the article; although exceptions may be made for exceptionally small data sets, which could be published in SI.

This voluntary publication of the article’s system description in a dataset only concerns primary data and system descriptions, that is, the novel parts of the author’s system description. Data that are reused from previous studies or from databases should be unambiguously cited and linked to in the system description, but not “re-published” (see Database Citations subsection above).