Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Biodiversity Data Journal - archiving or self archiving?

Another interesting development in the world of research data management: Pensoft announced that the Biodiversity Data Journal (BDJ) will start accepting submissions in December 2012. The BDJ is a new data journal similar to the Earth System Science Data Journal (ESSD) which pioneered in publishing research data.

Biodiversity Data Journal (BDJ) is a community peer-reviewed, open-access, comprehensive online platform, designed to accelerate publishing, dissemination and sharing of biodiversity-related data of any kind. All structural elements of the articles – text, morphological descriptions, occurrences, data tables, etc. – will be treated and stored as DATA.

So far this sounds very good. But IMHO not so good is the data archive policy of BDJ, which is a bit vague.

The BDJ journal homepage only provides a link to the general pensoft data publishing guidelines which offers many options how one should archive data. Of course they mention Dryad and PANGAEA etc. which are suitable data archives. But it is hard to understand why GBIF's Integrated Publishers Tookit (IPT) and scratchpads are also included as an option.

GBIF is not an archive and both, scratchpads and the IPT are software solutions which can be used for archiving purposes but need to be hosted by a reliable organisation - but these are not named. Therefore, in its current form, pensofts data archiving policy could be understood as an invitation to self archiving ... or does BDJ e.g. mean IPT in the sense of "pensoft IPT"?. This should be fixed until December.