Comment on:

The following comment refers to this/these guideline(s)

Guideline 13

Providing public access to research results

As a rule, researchers make all results available as part of scientific/academic discourse. In specific cases, however, there may be reasons not to make results publicly available (in the narrower sense of publication, but also in a broader sense through other communication channels); this decision must not depend on third parties. Researchers decide autonomously – with due regard for the conventions of the relevant subject area – whether, how and where to disseminate their results. If it has been decided to make results available in the public domain, researchers describe them clearly and in full. Where possible and reasonable, this includes making the research data, materials and information on which the results are based, as well as the methods and software used, available and fully explaining the work processes. Software programmed by researchers themselves is made publicly available along with the source code. Researchers provide full and correct information about their own preliminary work and that of others.


In the interest of transparency and to enable research to be referred to and reused by others, whenever possible researchers make the research data and principal materials on which a publication is based available in recognised archives and repositories in accordance with the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable). Restrictions may apply to public availability in the case of patent applications. If self-developed research software is to be made available to third parties, an appropriate licence is provided.

In line with the principle of “quality over quantity”, researchers avoid splitting research into inappropriately small publications. They limit the repetition of content from publications of which they were (co-)authors to that which is necessary to enable the reader to understand the context. They cite results previously made publicly available unless, in exceptional cases, this is deemed unnecessary by the general conventions of the discipline.

Use of chemistry-specific repositories

Research results usually appear in publications, and this is how access to them is enabled. In experimental chemistry, they should ideally also be deposited in chemistry-specific repositories in the form of data and materials (e.g. as chemical substances).

Data: Public access to data as a research outcome should be guaranteed by research data repositories. Examples of chemistry-specific repositories include Cambridge Structural Database (CSD), Chemotion Repository, StrendaDB and NOMAD. Examples of databases that can be used to provide additional data are nmrshiftdb2, massbank and Suprabank. Research data repositories for chemistry are being developed and evolved for chemistry as part of the National Research Data Infrastructure – an example here is the NFDI4Chem initiative.

Substances/Materials: Wherever possible and appropriate, materials should be centrally registered, stored and made available for review and re-use, in the same way as digital research results. Molecular and material archives offer the advantage of facilitating the findability of materials due to high visibility and also ensure central availability in the long term.

The comment belongs to the following categories:

GL13 (Natural sciences)