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Data Policy

The Geological Society of London (GSL) supports the open accessibility, discoverability and preservation of geoscience data in order to benefit researchers, the scientific research community and the public, and to comply with funder mandates.

The Geological Society of London is also a co-signatory on the Statement of Commitment for the Coalition on Publishing Data in the Earth and Space Science, which is available at


GSL encourages authors to deposit data in trusted repositories that:

  • Provide unique and persistent identifiers (DOIs)
  • Provide long-term preservation
  • Are openly accessible: all should be able to access the data at no charge.
  • Ensure accessibility and discoverability using metadata.

Such repositories include those listed at GSL also encourages placement of important geoscience samples in long-term and well-documented repositories or collections, such as at museums, geological surveys or universities. Where it is not feasible or practical to store data in community-approved repositories or where no funding-body repository exists, authors should deposit their datasets in a general repository such as figshare or Dryad.

GSL has its own figshare portal in which article Supplementary Material is hosted. figshare-hosted Supplementary Material will be free to authors.

Supplementary Material

Supplementary Material is supporting material that cannot be included within the article due to restrictions on space, file size or format. GSL’s Supplementary Material is hosted on figshare where it is maintained, preserved and openly accessible according to the same principles that apply to data repositories (above). Further information about Supplementary Material can be found here and instructions for authors for producing Supplementary Material here

Data Citation 


GSL supports the aims of DataCite and Force11’s Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles at in that data should be considered citable products of research.


GSL authors are encouraged to consider data as citable products of research and to cite data within articles. Further information about how to cite data items are available in instructions for authors.


Approved by Publications and Information Committee, 16 March 2015


Why share data?

A growing number of funders support data sharing. For instance, any articles based on research funded in whole or in part by Research Councils UK must include, if applicable, a statement on how the underlying research materials can be accessed.


There are many advantages to sharing data, other than meeting journal and funder requirements, including:

  • making authors’ articles more discoverable
  • attracting more usage of authors’ articles
  • providing extra context to the article
  • improving reproducibility of published research

What kind of data should be made available?

All supporting data sets for your article, positive and negative, should be made available, such that it is possible to reproduce all the calculations included in your article.


Are there exceptions to data sharing?

If you feel that your data set contains information that should not be made publicly available, please email the staff contact for journals or commission editor for Special Publications and other books. Exceptions to the sharing of data may be granted at the discretion of the editor.


Where should I deposit my data?

Lists of data repositories are provided at If there is no specifically appropriate data repository available, please deposit your data in a generic repository such Dryad or figshare

How can my data be used?

All objects are licensed under CC-BY license, except for datasets for which the CC0 licence is more appropriate (see Why does figshare use CC licenses and Copyright and Licensing . By licensing research outputs under CC-BY, the data are openly available, but it requires others to give the author credit, in the form of a citation, should they distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially.

CC0 enables creators and owners of content to place them as completely as possible in the public domain so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purpose without restriction under copyright or database law. No attribution is required.

When should I deposit my data?

Please deposit your data on submission of your article and embargo the data until publication of the article.


What about source code for software?

Source code should be made available under an Open Source licence and the source code included in the supplementary material.

Resources and further information

Citing data

GSL author instructions for data citation (pdf) 



Repository list  

Supplementary Material

GSL Supplementary Publications    

Supplementary material: instructions for authors

Sharing data

Research Councils’ ‘Why Share Data?