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European Political Science

The Impacts of Democratic Innovations

EPS Open Data Guidelines

Author Guidelines for publishing in European Political Science


Research transparency and openness

EPS complies with the ECPR statement on data access and research transparency. As a generalist journal with a methodological pluralist orientation to research, we acknowledge that each type of work requires a different approach to data access, replication, and transparency.

For this reason, we encourage authors of accepted manuscripts to make public their data and codes necessary to replicate their results. However, when the authors cannot comply with this requirement, for instance because of embargoes, privacy or security concerns, these cases will be considered individually.

The following guidelines are drawn on Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines, which provides editors with useful standards to include in their journals’ policies, whilst allowing for adaptation, according to specific editorial needs. They were developed by a community of scientists and academics, together with the Center for Open Science (Nosek et al. 2015). TOP Guidelines identify standards of openness and transparency across eight key aspects (i.e., Citation standards, Data transparency, Analytic Methods (Code) Transparency, Research Materials Transparency, Design and Analysis Transparency, Study Preregistration, Analysis Plan Preregistration, Replication) of research design and reporting. Editors can decide which of these eight aspects is relevant for their journal and, for each category, they can choose between three different levels of stringency, according to the journal’s characteristics and scope.

As a generalist journal publishing research using different methodological approaches, both qualitative and quantitative, EPS opts for the Level 2 of stringency for Citation, Data Transparency, Analytic methods (Code), and Research Materials Transparency. It requires data sharing whilst allowing for some flexibility and provides guidance for what to do when open data is not possible. Authors are required to share data and materials when it is permitted, whilst provide appropriate justification when legal or ethical restrictions pose limitations to full sharing. For Replication and Study preregistration, EPS opted for Level 1 of stringency.

Furthermore, given the scope of EPS, its policy does not include requirements for the categories of Design and Analysis Transparency, and Analysis Plan.

Citation standards

All data and materials used in the article must be properly cited. Data citations must include the following elements: author(s), date, version, name of the dataset, and a persistent identifier (e.g., a Digital Object Identifier, or DOI). Persistent identifiers are assigned to datasets by digital data repositories.

Dataset citation example:

European Commission, Brussels (2021). Eurobarometer 94.3 (2021). GESIS Data Archive, Cologne. ZA7780 Data file Version 1.0.0,

Data Transparency, Analytic methods (Code), and Research Materials Transparency

Accepted articles must clearly document the data, methods used in the analyses, and materials used to conduct the research, and make them available to researchers for purposes of reproducing the results or replicating the procedure. Three conditions apply, according to the type of data used:

  • Authors reusing data available from public repositories. Authors should provide the program codes, scripts for statistical packages, and other documentation that is necessary to reproduce the published results. The replication material can be deposited at a trusted digital repository, such as Harvard Dataverse or Zenodo, and the link should be made available in the article’s text.
  • Authors using original data – shareable data. Authors must make the data available through a trusted digital repository, alongside with the relevant metadata. Repositories include those that are maintained by universities, research funders, or generalist repositories such as OSF, Harvard Dataverse, or Zenodo. Lab websites or statements such as “available upon request” are not appropriate unless an exception due to privacy or security are approved. Authors should provide the codebooks, program codes, scripts for statistical packages, and other documentation that is necessary to reproduce the published results.
  • Authors using original data – not shareable data. When data or other replication materials cannot be shared due to embargoes, privacy, or security reasons, authors should inform the editors at the time of the submission, and this will be considered during the review process. Editors will consider exceptions individually, provided that the authors:
    • Explain the restrictions on the datasets, codes or material;
    • Provide a public description of the procedures to request access to data, codes or materials;
    • Provide access to all materials for which the constraints do not apply.


EPS encourages submission of replication studies, particularly of research published in this journal.

Study preregistration

Manuscripts containing original experimental work, including laboratory, field, and survey experiments must state whether preregistration of study exists, and, if so, where to access the preregistration.