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Publishing a data paper

A data paper is a searchable metadata document, describing a dataset or a group of datasets, published in the form of a peer-reviewed article in a scholarly journal. The primary purpose of a data paper is to describe data (in a structured human-readable form) and the circumstances of their collection rather than to report hypotheses and conclusions. A data paper provides a citable journal publication that brings scholarly credit to data publishers and alerts the scientific community to the existence of biodiversity datasets and the value they can bring to particular research projects.

For some key types of data, e.g., taxon occurrences and checklists, genomic data and phylogenetic data, established standards and related infrastructures have been developed to facilitate publication of data papers. A workflow to generate a data paper manuscript from metadata as an RTF-formatted manuscript acceptable for submission exists in the IPT. Integration between IPT and Pensoft’s ARPHA Writing Tool simplifies the process of publishing data papers by importing metadata from IPT-hosted datasets that can then be directly submitted to the Biodiversity Data Journal.

Further information can be found at: and