Pretty Lake, Indiana during summer

AGU Policy: Data 

data policy

First adopted by Publications Committee November 1993 [Revised March 1994, December 1995, October 1996, October 2013]. Adopted by Council December 2013. Updated in 2016.

AGU affirmed in its 2015 position statement that “Earth and space science data should be widely accessible in multiple formats and long‐term preservation of data is an integral responsibility of scientists and sponsoring institutions.” Following this statement and to advance scientific exploration and discovery, and allow a full assessment of results presented in AGU’s journals, all data necessary to understand, evaluate, replicate, and build upon the reported research must be made available and accessible whenever possible.

For the purposes of this policy, data include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Data used to generate, or be displayed in, figures, graphs, plots, videos, animations, or tables in a paper.
  • New protocols or methods used to generate the data in a paper.
  • New code/computer software used to generate results or analyses reported in the paper.
  • Derived data products reported or described in a paper.

AGU encourages authors to identify and archive their data in approved data centers. If there is no relevant public repository available, and the data are such that they cannot easily be included in a supplement, authors are expected to curate the above data for at least 5 years after publication and provide a transparent process to make the data available to anyone upon request. Data sets that are not curated or cannot be reliably made available to anybody requesting data may not be cited in AGU publications. Limitations or restrictions on sharing data must be reported to the Editor for consideration at the time of submission.

AGU reserves the right to refuse publication when authors are unwilling to make the underlying data available or otherwise refuse to comply with this Data Policy.

Detailed information describing data or methodology used when the data or methods are new may be presented in one of the following 5 ways: (1) in the main text, (2) in a ‘Materials and Methods’ section in the manuscript, (3) as Supporting information, (4) as an Appendix, and (5) as a short Companion paper. At the time of first publication online, which is usually a few days after acceptance, any companion paper, and all other references, must be available to other scientists. Papers may be held until companion or referenced papers are available.

AGU requires an explicit statement in the “Acknowledgments” section of a paper that clarifies how users can access the data from a paper (via supplements, repositories, other sources, etc.) and states any restrictions on access.


A more thorough description of how AGU’s Data Policy affects Authors, Editors, Associate Editors, and Reviewers is available in the Data Policy FAQ.

AGU encourages citation of data sets according to the Force 11 and ESIP Commons guidelines.