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Data Papers

Adding a signpost to your digital archive - a 'window' onto your data

Sometimes the level of recognition gained from depositing archaeological research data with an accredited archive or repository is limited, so in an attempt to redress this, Internet Archaeology has established a 'data papers' series. You have put a lot of effort into creating your data and a data paper allows you to get credit for it, to publicise and share it with the community, providing an extra signpost to and window onto your data.

What is a Data Paper?

A data paper is a short, peer-reviewed publication that is designed to raise awareness of a dataset and its re-use potential. It describes the contents of a dataset deposited (or soon to be deposited) with a trusted, accredited repository (such as ADS, tDAR and Open Context), the methods used to create that dataset and, most importantly, what further avenues of research are possible.

A data paper is an extension of the 'integrated publication' model Internet Archaeology has been developing with ADS since our very earliest issues, where links to the underlying data are provided within the article narrative. Where it differs is that the publication is much shorter (published more quickly), and it uses open peer commentary, and in doing so, explicitly credits the referee and makes their comments available to all. The referee statement aims to point out potential areas of future research using the data, a feature particularly helpful if you are seeking a dissertation or research topic. A data paper may be used to complement and enhance a related Internet Archaeology publication or add context to a stand-alone digital archive.

The main points that define a data paper are:


How do I publish a data paper?

  1. Deposit or be in the process of depositing your dataset with an accredited repository
  2. Contact the Internet Archaeology Editor ( to indicate your intention to submit a data paper (and await acceptance in principle)
  3. Write/rework your data paper structured as per the template below (many sections may overlap with the metadata already required by the repository). We do not envisage data papers being any longer than c.2000 words.
  4. Send your text to the Internet Archaeology editor

What will Internet Archaeology do?

The Internet Archaeology editor will arrange the peer statement on the reuse potential of the dataset. The editor will also arrange the copy-editing, formatting of the data paper, and its digital preservation. The editor will organise and implement the cross-links between publication and archive, assign a DOI and co-ordinate publicity.

What if changes are required?

Where a dataset has not yet been deposited in an archive and where a review indicates changes/corrections should be made to the data, the Internet Archaeology editor will liaise with the author in order to ensure appropriate changes/notifications are dealt with. Where errors are identified in data already deposited with the archive and which cannot be dealt within the data paper itself, the depositor may wish to liaise with the archive directly. You should be aware that a revised archive can often be treated by the repository as a new deposit so you may be charged accordingly.

The Template

A data paper is a statement on the content, context and the re-use potential of your data and should be structured using the following sections.

  1. Title
  2. Authorship (including contact details, and ORCID identifier)
  3. DOI of deposited dataset
  4. Content of the dataset
  5. Background to the dataset – context, main aims/objectives of the dataset (and/or project) and general data methodology
  6. Summary description (if required e.g. if dataset is excavation data)
  7. Scope (incl. period terms or dates/geographical context. You should also note any data 'gaps'/what is not covered)
  8. Future work and Re-use Potential of the dataset e.g. avenues of possible further analysis, integration with other datasets etc.
  9. Details of how the dataset relates to other publications/archives (including physical archives)
  10. References
  11. Acknowledgements and Funding Statement. State either "This work was supported by the xxxxxxx [grant number xxxx]" or where work was not funded by any specific project grant, please use the following "This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors."

A data paper may include images and/or other visualisations. All data paper submissions and queries should be sent to the Internet Archaeology editor:

What does it cost?

The cost of a data paper starts at £600 plus VAT where applicable. This is for a data paper that closely follows the above template and is under 2000 words long and may include some images. Longer, image-rich or more developed data papers necessarily will be costed on request. The charge covers the required management, editorial, graphic and technical work including cross-linking and digital preservation as well as promotion and ongoing management. Invoicing will be arranged following a successful referee stage. Costs can often be covered by a research grant, a departmental research award, or via institutional block grant for APCs (Author Processing Charges). Data paper fees are reviewed annually.

Authors should be aware that all repositories/digital archives will have their own deposit procedures, licences and/or charges. Data paper authors should also consider the impact such requirements may have on the timing and planning of their data paper publication.

Internet Archaeology is an open access journal based in the Department of Archaeology, University of York. Except where otherwise noted, content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY) Unported licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that attribution to the author(s), the title of the work, the Internet Archaeology journal and the relevant URL/DOI are given.

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