The presented method is a little bit more complex but, in my personal opinion, very close to an optimal solution as it solves additional issues. Since you may have a CS or related background, this may be technically viable for you.
This question has two components:
- How to permanently publish material
- How to limit access to this material during review
The first question is especially difficult to solve since the costs, URLs, and availability of services like Dropbox may be subjected to change. Perhaps not this year, but let's say in a few years. However, you want your material to be available permanently but cannot update the URL in the paper.
Limiting access during review is solved by using an encrypted file or by some sort of login/password, before downloading is allowed. If you have several large datasets, the "encrypted file" solution is often not viable, since you do not want to have a link for each (encrypted) dataset in the paper (e.g., you have 10 datasets, each 50MB => 10 links). In this case you also do not want to have a large 500MB file that someone has to download, just to look into a single dataset.
All in all, I was not satified with the available services and solutions since they did not guarantee that the URLs are permanent and the did not have a "login" feature.
I came up with an own solution:
- The URL in the paper points to one of my (personal) URLs. This is also safe in case of changing institutions. However, you can still have your dataset at some other domain, the URL in the paper is just a forwarder/redirect. If the location of the data changes, you can simply update the target of the forwarder/redirect.
- During review, I uploaded the files to a server and enabled a simple login (htaccess-based). The files are all listed in this folder, but to get access to the folder you need the login.
- In the paper, I added the following note:
We provide supplementary material at
The material includes all required scripts for experiments ABC and XYZ.
Restricted access during review:
Username: review Password: [password]
I explicitily state that the restricted access only applies to review, so we are willing to publish this data together with the paper.
While this comes with some effort, this method worked very well during review and also afterwards as the paper is publicly available, now.