BMC Biology follows BMC editorial polices, unless otherwise noted below, which are designed to support our commitment to open data sharing. Inclusion of original, uncropped gels or blots is mandatory at BMC Biology, and the full length original images should be included in the additional files.
Availability of datasets
Authors must deposit all raw data in an appropriate repository prior to peer review. If an appropriate repository does not exist, or if the available repositories do not support a confidential peer-review process, we ask authors to submit their data to a generalist repository such as figshare. A list of recommended repositories by subject area and data type can be found on the Springer Nature Recommended Repositories list. If you have questions as to the suitability of a given repository, please contact the helpdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Supporting data must be made available to editors and peer reviewers at the time of submission for the purposes of evaluating the manuscript. Authors may use reviewer access tokens at initial submission, but all datasets must be made public prior to acceptance.
If a dataset is not able to be deposited in any of the above repositories due to legal guidelines or ethical reasons, this must be clearly stated in the “Availability of Data and Materials” section and is subject to editor approval.
Availability of research materials
BMC Biology follows the Nature Research policies for the sharing of research materials. Read these policies in full here.
A condition of publication is that authors are required to make unique materials promptly available to others without undue qualifications. It is acceptable to request reasonable payment to cover costs of distribution and reagents may be made available via commercial or non-commercial third party providers. Any restrictions on materials availability, including if materials are to be distributed by a for-profit company, must be clearly stated in the paper. As per our policy on authorship responsibilities, it is expected that the corresponding author (or relevant designated authors) will be responsible for materials availability unless otherwise stated.
Availability of computer code and software
Authors must make available, to editors and reviewers, any previously unreported custom computer code or algorithm used to generate the data presented in the manuscript. All software or methods papers must be shared on a repository such as Github in combination with a DOI-providing repository such as Zenodo to provide permanent access to a usable instance of code (how to archive GitHub code with Zenodo; how to archive GitHub code with figshare). Code with an assigned DOI must be formally cited and listed in the References section of the manuscript. License information for the software or method should also be stated clearly in the “Availability of Data and Materials” section and on the repository site.
For all studies using custom code in the generation or processing of the described data, a statement must be included under the Declaration section “Availability of Data and Materials", indicating whether and how the code can be accessed, including any restrictions to access. Authors may supply code as Supplementary Information files, particularly when code must be kept private during peer review. Before final publication, however, authors are encouraged to archive their code in a public repository that can assign it a DOI, such as figshare.
Any reason that would preclude the need for code or algorithm sharing will be evaluated by the editors who reserve the right to decline the paper if important code is unavailable.
BMC endorses the Force 11 Data Citation Principles and requires that all publicly available datasets be fully referenced in the reference list with an accession number or unique identifier such as a digital object identifier (DOI).
Authors are required to formally cite any datasets stored in external repositories that are mentioned within their manuscript before acceptance, including the main datasets that are the focus of the submission, as well as any other datasets that have been used in the work. For previously published datasets, we ask authors to cite both the related research articles and the datasets themselves. All methods, software, and code developed for the manuscript should include a citation on the reference list.
All Springer Nature journals, including BMC Biology, are participants in the Initiative for Open Citations. As such, data citations are included in full in the formal reference list, exported to Crossref and are openly available.
An author list and title for the dataset should be included in the data citation, and should reflect the author(s) and dataset title recorded at the repository. If author or title is not recorded by the repository, these should not be included in the data citation. The name of the data-hosting repository, URL to the dataset and year the data were made available are required for all data citations. For DOI-based (e.g. figshare or Dryad) repositories the DOI URL should be used. For repositories using accessions (e.g. SRA or GEO) an identifiers.org URL should be used where available. For first submissions, authors may choose to include just the accession number. BMC Biology staff will provide further guidance after peer-review and the journal will verify the dataset citation prior to publication. Please refer to the following examples of data citation for guidance:
Zhang, Q-L., Chen, J-Y., Lin, L-B., Wang, F., Guo, J., Deng, X-Y. Characterization of ladybird Henosepilachna vigintioctopunctata transcriptomes across various life stages. figshare https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4064768.v3 (2018).
NCBI Sequence Read Archive https://identifiers.org/ncbi/insdc.sra:SRP121625 (2017).
Barbosa, P., Usie, A. and Ramos, A. M. Quercus suber isolate HL8, whole genome shotgun sequencing project. GenBank https://identifiers.org/ncbi/insdc:PKMF00000000 (2018).
DNA Data Bank of Japan https://trace.ddbj.nig.ac.jp/DRASearch/submission?acc=DRA004814 (2016).