The Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has supported the archiving and preservation of data since 1969. While the Odum Institute Data Archive has been curating research data to support discovery, access, and reuse for some time, the archive has recently expanded its service model to include comprehensive data quality review. The Odum Institute provides this data review service to journals, who wish to add a verification component to their data sharing and replication policies. Currently the Odum Institute provides this service to two political science journals, the American Journal of Political Science (AJPS) and State Politics and Policy Quarterly (SPPQ). Both AJPS and SPPQ are signatories on Data Access and Research Transparency (DA-RT): A Joint Statement by Political Science Journal Editors and are committed to ensuring not only that the data underlying published articles are available but also that these data meet quality standards for reproducibility.
The integration of data quality review into the publication process required the data archive and the editorial staff to adjust their current workflows to accommodate the exchange of materials and support interactions among the archive, editor, and author.
- The integrated manuscript publication and data review workflow begins when an author submits their manuscript for review. The journals provide guidance documents to assist authors in preparing replication files for verification.
- Following the peer-review process, editorial staff designates accepted manuscripts as being conditionally accepted and prompts authors to submit replication materials to the designated journal repository.
- Once the author submits the replication materials to the designated repository, the editor sends notification to the Odum Institute Data Archive that the materials are available for curation and verification along with the associated manuscript draft. This initiates the data review process.
- Data archive staff at the Odum Institute curate the data and statistical experts verify that the data and code execute correctly and produce the analytic results presented in the manuscript.
- Once the data review process is complete, the editorial staff grants the manuscript the final acceptance designation. The archive staff publishes the replication materials in the Dataverse and provides the editorial staff with a full data citation that includes a persistent identifier (DOI).
- Using the citations and persistent identifiers, a direct link is established between the published article and the published replication dataset.
This workflow was developed in collaboration with editorial staff at AJPS. AJPS editorial and archive staff have continued to work together to evaluate this workflow to identify potential areas for improved efficiency and to respond more effectively to exceptional situations dealing with sensitive or proprietary data that need special provisions. The Odum Institute model of curating data for reproducibility as a cost-based service to journals exemplifies a convergence of stakeholders around the principles of research transparency and reproducibility.