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Author Guidelines

The Open Data Journal for Agricultural Research (ODJAR) publishes data sets in such a way that they are re-usable for further research. Thus your submission consists of three interlinked parts:

  1. The information you enter in the submission process in the online submission systems of ODJAR, that is the meta-data of your publication;
  2. A 2 to maximum 4 A4 page description of your data set in the ODJAR lay-out, using the correct referencing guidelines and covering a set of aspects about your data set.
  3. The data set itself, where there are some recommendations on the formatting, but no strict guidelines.

Here you find a description of how to deal with each of three parts as an author.

For the submission process, please register yourself as a user with, and once registered, select the option to make a new submission.

For the description of your data set as an accompanying article, you have to adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. The description of your data set is an accompanying paper describing the dataset, giving details on the following items:
    1. the original purpose and or background of the data collection: why was the data collected? How was it used? (this does not need an extensive and in-depth description, but should provide adequate background and links to other relevant publications and web sites for further reading)
    2. variables as part of the collection: what variables were collected as part of the data collection?  If relevant and for example, which equipment was used for measurements or what set-up was used for panel data? Also important do discuss the variables that were not collected, but were left out on purpose.
    3. the collection processing: what steps were taken to process the data till it is ready for publication now? This is more relevant for data sets that were compiled as a collection of other data sets, and less relevant for data that is just published as is. Here it is important to describe any steps you took to fill gaps, deal with outliers, or extended the data set with auxillary data from another data set.
    4. Technical information of relevance to the data set, such as file formats, structuring of the data, etc., so that others can work with data easily and know what to expect.
    5. Supplementary visualizations and statistics that highlight the contents of the data set, and give the reader an overview of what is in it, which is non-exhaustive.

      Here we realize that not each of the items above is equally relevant for every data set, so it is at your discretion as an author to deal with this in a flexible way, while ultimately a reader and possible user of your data set has to understand what he can and cannot do with your data in further analysis. The main point of the review will not be to review the scientific validity of your data set, but instead review the usability from the point-of-view of the reader, and the ease of understanding the content of the data set.

  2. The accompanying paper should be a file in ODF, RTF, HTML, PDF file, Microsoft Word format, covering max. 4 A4 pages, following the formatting guidelines that can be downloaded here.

  3. Where available, URLs for the references or externally stored datasets should be provided.

  4. The article text is single-spaced; uses a 10-point Arial font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.

  5. For references as part of this accompanying paper, the ODJAR adopts the ASA Style guide (American Sociological Association (ASA) Style Guide, 4th edition.), see also: . ASA is an often used standard, and most citation managers should be able to deal with it.

Finally, submitting the data set itself follows the following procedure:

  1. Submitting the data set can be done in two ways:

    1. Your institution already has a data repository, where the data set is stored with a persitent identifier. If that is the case, supply a document with the persistent link to the dataset during the step of supplementary materials during the submission proces. If you have the data set already somewhere available with a doi, ODjAR can also refer to this doi instead, but it must be a doi!

    2. Your data set is not stored with a persistent link in a data repository. In this case, it will be stored during the submission and review process with a persistent link.  To transfer the data set to the journal, submit it using a file transfer mechanism, for example: WeTransfer, Globus or Dropbox. Upload a document with the link generated through WeTransfer, Globus or Dropbox as part of the Supplementary Materials.

    NOTE: Supplementary Materials page in the submission process asks you to submit the data set itself, but this is not possible as most datasets are too large for this too work. With questions, contact:

  2. The dataset is provided in a format that is readily usable by other researchers and preferably in open format standard.

  3. Preferably include a readme.txt file with some short general background for those readers who only find the data set, for example the file structure in the dataset if it is more than one file.

As part of the submission process, authors are required to check off their submission's compliance with the items above, and the general items below. Submissions may be returned to authors that do not adhere to these guidelines.

  1. Publication of the data and of the associated paper has been approved by all authors and any relevant authorities and institutions.

  2. To the best of their knowledge, the authors do not know of any third party which could claim ownership or copyright of the data.

  3. All datasets submitted through ODjAR are licensensed according to the CC-BY license (see below under copyright notice).

  4. It is strongly recommended that authors study the guidelines for optimising their article for search engines - as provided eg. by this website - when choosing their title and keywords.

Submission Preparation Checklist

All submissions must meet the following requirements.

  • The submission has not been published before, nor is it under consideration by any other journal (unless an explanation is provided in Editor's Notes).
  • The submitted file is in ODF, RTF, HTML, PDF, or Microsoft Word file format.
  • Where available, URLs for the references or externally stored datasets should be provided.
  • The article text is single-spaced; uses a 10-point Arial font; employs italics, rather than underlining (except with URL addresses); and all illustrations, figures, and tables are placed within the text at the appropriate points, rather than at the end.
  • The text meets the stylistic and bibliographical requirements as formulated in Author Guidelines, which can be found below this checklist.


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