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News and Publications

ASTRO Journals Data Sharing Policy

ASTRO does not require data sharing. In the interest of transparency and in support of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) data principles, however, authors are asked to include a data availability statement with their submitted work. Data availability statements should indicate if the data are being shared and if so, how the data may be accessed. Data availability statements will be published alongside articles submitted after this policy goes into effect (on January 1, 2020).

Along with its data sharing policy, ASTRO recently published a guide with recommended best practices for authors submitting to its journals. Read ASTRO Journals’ Data Sharing Policy and Recommended Best Practices, in Advances in Radiation Oncology.

Some of the topics covered include:

  • How to write a data availability statement
  • How to cite a dataset and get credit for published data
  • Choosing a data repository
  • Expectations in cases where data access is restricted

A free CME accredited activity based on the article is available through ASTRO Academy.

Advances in Radiation Oncology is a Gold open access journal, so authors, readers and patients have free access to all articles.

Data availability statement examples:

Category Example statement(s) Published in
All data available Clinical study reports, detailed data tables, and programming code are available on the Dryad Digital Repository (https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bv8j6) and at www.Study329.org/ British Medical Journal
Patient level data for this study is available at: http://www.gsk-clinicalstudyregister.com/study/29060/329. GlaxoSmithKline Study Register
All data generated and analyzed during this study are included in this published article (and its supplementary information files).  
Third-party data This study was based on the English national cancer registry data. The authors do not own these data and hence are not permitted to share them in the original form (only in aggregate form, eg, publications). At the time of request data were provided by the Office for National Statistics but now all cancer registrations are owned and maintained by Public Health England. British Medical Journal
Data are available from the UK Biobank for researchers who meet the criteria and gain approvals to access the research database from the UK Biobank access management committee at the University of Oxford. Applications are reviewed and approvals granted subject to meeting all ethical and research conditions set forth by the UK Bio Bank. Information on access procedures, general enquiries, and contact information can be found online: https://www.ukbiobank.ac.uk/key-uk-biobank-contacts/. The full code for the analysis is available at: https://github.com/PRISM-UoN/UK-Bio-Bank-Machine-Learning-Project. PLOS One
Restricted access (commercial) Data for these analyses were made available to the authors through third-party license from Optum and Truven, 2 commercial data providers in the United States. As such, the authors cannot make these data publicly available due to data use agreement. Other researchers can access these data by purchasing a license through Optum and Truven. Inclusion criteria specified in the Methods section would allow other researchers to identify the same cohort of patients we used for these analyses. Interested individuals may see https://www.optum.com/solutions/prod-nav/product-data.html for more information on accessing Optum data and https://marketscan.truvenhealth.com/marketscanportal/ for more information on accessing Truven data. PLOS Med
Restricted access (legal/ethical) It is Novartis Policy not to share data from interim trial results, even if a Health Authority approval has been granted based only on interim trial data. Novartis will share data when the trial CSR is completed, and the results published. Clinical Study Data Request

Potential Data Repositories:

Repository Name Description DOI provided?
Clinical Study Data Request (CSDR) A consortium of clinical study sponsors or funders. CSDR facilitates restricted access to patient-level data from clinical studies. N/A
Dryad General repository. Dryad collects a data publishing charge of $120 upon data publication, unless there is a sponsor or fee waiver in place. Additional charges apply to data packages in excess of 20 GB. See also frequently asked questions.  Yes
Figshare Free to use general repository, which allows up to 5 GB per file upload. Supports restricted access and can accommodate double-blind review. Yes
Mendeley Data A free to use general repository (up to 10 GB per data set). See also frequently asked questions. Yes
OpenScience Framework Free to use general repository, which allows up to 5 GB per file upload. Yes
Project Data Sphere Nonprofit, online platform that facilitates sharing and analysis of historical, patient-level data from academic and industry phase III cancer clinical trials. Deidentification of patient level data are the responsibility of the data provider. No
Synapse Open source biomedical research platform for data sharing, analysis, and collaboration. Supports restricted access. Yes
The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA) TCIA hosts an archive of cancer imaging for public consumption. Their Clinical Trials Processor software performs deidentification and curation according to Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) standards. Yes
Genomic Data Commons (GDC) The GDC contains National Cancer Institute (NCI)-generated data from some of the largest and most comprehensive cancer genomic data sets, including The Cancer Genome Atlas and Therapeutically Applicable Research to Generate Effective Therapies. No
Sequence Read Archive (SRA) The SRA is NIH's primary archive of high-throughput sequencing data and is part of the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration that includes at the NCBI SRA, the European Bioinformatics Institute, and the DNA Database of Japan. Data submitted to any of the 3 organizations are shared among them. No
Vivli Nonprofit, data sharing and analytics platform created to sharing of individual participant-level data from completed clinical trials. Vivli partners with Privacy Analytics, who assists with anonymization. Yes
Zenodo General repository. Zenodo accepts up to 50 GB per data set. Monetary donations are encouraged to maintain the repository. Can accommodate double-blind review. Yes
ASTRO does not endorse any specific repositories and is not responsible for any data deposited. The list of potential repositories is provided as a general resource from and for the scientific community. If your repository of choice is not listed and would like to submit a recommendation for ASTRO's data sharing frequently asked questions page, please e-mail journals@astro.org.