Much of what we know about scholarly communication and the “science of science” relies on the scholarly record”of journal publications, monographs, and books; and upon the patterns of findings, evidence, and collaborations that analysis of this record reveals. In contrast, research data, in its current state, represents a type of ’scholarly dark matter’ that underlies the current visible evidentiary relationships among publications. Improved data citation practices have the potential to make this dark matter visible.
Yesterday the Data Science Journal published a special issue devoted to data citations: Out of Cite, Out of Mind: The Current State of Practice, Policy, and Technology for the Citation of Data. This is a comprehensive review of data citations principles, practices, infrastructure, policy and research. And I’m very pleased to have contributed to writing and researching this document as part of the CODATA-ICSTI Task Group on Data Citation Standards and Practices.
This is a rapidly evolving area, and representatives from the CODATA-ICSTI task group, Force 11, the Research Data Alliance and a number of other groups, have formed a synthesis group which is developing an integrated statement of principles to promote broad adoption of a consistent policy for data citation across disciplines and venues.