News Release

PLOS to extend accessible data to more articles and repositories

Business Announcement


SAN FRANCISCO — PLOS today is announcing that it has extended the scope of its “Accessible Data” experiment, which was first launched in March 2022, with support from a Wellcome Trust grant. The experimental “Accessible Data” feature is designed to increase research data sharing and reuse by highlighting links to select repositories with an eye-catching icon on the article page. We are now expanding from the original three repositories to nine, which together host about three quarters of the outputs linked to from PLOS articles.

PLOS began its Accessible Data experiment with two overarching goals. First, to increase reuse of datasets linked to PLOS articles and second, to increase authors’ use of data repositories by visually acknowledging and rewarding repository use on articles. Through analysis of 543 Figshare datasets linked to PLOS articles, we observed a 20% relative increase in the average number of views received per month.

PLOS now has a third goal, which is to understand if there are meaningful differences in how readers engage with different types of data, and different types of research output. To achieve this, PLOS is increasing the number of articles that will qualify for the icon on an article by diversifying the repository and output types that are included. In this next phase, articles will display an icon if they:

Extending the icon achieves two things. First, it increases the number of articles that qualify for the feature threefold, to more than 15,000 articles, rewarding more researchers and increasing our potential to promote discovery of research data and code. Second, by adding different types of repositories, PLOS is increasing its potential for learning. We've added repositories specializing in life sciences, social sciences, and medicine to better understand where readers engage differently in domain-specific repositories vs generalist repositories.

The results of the next phase of the experiment will inform future strategies to support discovery and reuse of research outputs produced by PLOS authors. For more information on this experiment, a summary is available as a poster in Figshare, along with the supporting data from our surveys.


About the Public Library of Science

PLOS is a nonprofit, Open Access publisher empowering researchers to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication. Since our founding in 2001, PLOS journals have helped break boundaries in research communication to provide more opportunities, choice, and context for researchers and readers. For more information, visit

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