Data archiving in ecology and evolution: best practices

Trends Ecol Evol. 2011 Feb;26(2):61-5. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2010.11.006. Epub 2010 Dec 14.


Many ecology and evolution journals have recently adopted policies requiring that data from their papers be publicly archived. I present suggestions on how data generators, data re-users, and journals can maximize the fairness and scientific value of data archiving. Data should be archived with enough clarity and supporting information that they can be accurately interpreted by others. Re-users should respect their intellectual debt to the originators of data through citation both of the paper and of the data package. In addition, journals should consider requiring that all data for published papers be archived, just as DNA sequences must be deposited in GenBank. Data are another valuable part of the legacy of a scientific career and archiving them can lead to new scientific insights. Archiving also increases opportunities for credit to be given to the scientists who originally collected the data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Ecology / methods
  • Ecology / standards*
  • Information Management / methods*
  • Periodicals as Topic / standards
  • Publishing
  • Research / standards*