Data Journals

Twenty-first century research must make data dissemination a regular part of scholarly work flows. Better data dissemination can promote analytic rigor and transparency, reduce inefficiencies and duplication of effort, and open new research opportunities for larger scale and multidisciplinary inquiry. This need pertains to many areas of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.

However, reforming scholarly communications to improve data transparency requires that researchers see greater incentives to participate in data dissemination. To meet this need, we will explore a model of “data sharing as publication,” in collaboration with the California Digital Library (CDL), a unit that runs many of the University of California’s leading scholarly communications and data preservation efforts.

In a manner analogous with conventional scholarly journals, a “Data Journal” will help set, communicate, and maintain quality of datasets relevant to a given theme or discipline. The proposed Data Journal will combine the CDL’s impressive scholarly communications expertise and infrastructure with Open Context, a system already recognized and used by the archaeological community. Open Context hosts a large and growing collection of datasets, has earned recognition by national granting agencies for “data management plans”, and has an editorial board. These developments, combined with the CDL’s robust data curation and citation infrastructure make this project ideally positioned to advance the concept of Data Journals.

This research is funded in 2012-2013 by an ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowship to Eric Kansa.