About this Journal

This journal aims to establish a new subject of publication: to publish data according to the conventional fashion of publishing articles, applying the established principles of quality assessment through peer-review to datasets.

The goals are to make datasets a reliable resource to build upon and to reward the authors by establishing priority and recognition through the impact of their articles.

The peer-review secures that the data sets:

  • are at least plausible and contain no detectable problems;
  • are of sufficiently high quality and their limitations are clearly stated;
  • are open accessible (toll free), well annotated by standard metadata (e.g., ISO 19115) and available from a certified data center/repository;
  • are customary with regard to their format(s) and/or access protocol, however not proprietary ones (e.g., Open Geospatial Consortium standards), expected to be useable for the foreseeable future.

The articles in this journal should enable the reviewer and the reader to review and use the data, respectively, with the least amount of effort. To this end, all necessary information should be presented through the article text and references in a concise manner and each article should publish as much data as possible. The aim is to minimize the overall workload of reviewers, e.g., by reviewing one instead of many articles, and to maximize the impact of each article.

It is clear that some of these quite abstract criteria may soon unfold to more (technically) specific ones, depending on the discipline or type of data. If necessary, the editors will try to make sure that more specific help for authors as well as for reviewers will be developed over time. Until such definitive, detailed guidelines-by-discipline are published, reviewers and public commentators are encouraged to remain open-minded on technical issues and to avoid "holy wars" or "flaming". One potential area of discord might be the "correct" metadata scheme or its application.

To help streamline the review process, a more formal list of criteria has been developed, which may serve as a checklist.