Sensitive data or data about human participants: sharing expectations

Our journals acknowledge that reasonable restrictions on data availability may be necessary to protect human privacy, biosafety or to respect terms of use for data obtained under licence from third parties (for example, company proprietary data).

We encourage you to attempt anonymisation of data containing identifiers of human participants. If sufficient anonymisation is not possible, certain repositories support controlled access. Our repository guidance contains several suggestions.

If your data cannot be shared openly, you should include a data availability statement which describes why access to the data may be limited. For more information, please email

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