Reviewer Guidance on Data Transparency

Following a recent update in our data policy Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology now mandates data sharing and peer reviewers are asked to consider manuscript compliance.

Reviewers must consider a manuscript’s data availability statement (DAS), where applicable. They should consider if the authors have complied with the journal’s policy on the availability of research data, and whether reasonable effort has been made to make the data that support the findings of the study available for replication or reuse by other researchers.

Reviewer checklist for data sharing:

For the Data availability statement, reviewers should consider:

  • Has an appropriate DAS been provided?
  • Is it clear how a reader can access the data?
  • Where links are provided in the DAS, are they working/valid?
  • Where data access is restricted, are the access controls warranted and appropriate?
  • Where data are described as being included with the manuscript and/or supplementary information files, is this accurate?

For the data files, where available, reviewers should consider:

  • Are the data in the most appropriate repository?
  • Were the data produced in a rigorous and methodologically sound manner?
  • Are data and any metadata consistent with file format and reporting standards of the research community?
  • Are the data files deposited by the authors complete and do they match the descriptions in the manuscript?
  • Do they contain personally identifiable, sensitive or inappropriate information?