Say one works on a scholarly article with data that were available at her institution. Then, she leaves the institution (data is no more accessible), but wants to submit her article to a scientific journal. Imagine the article is accepted, can there be issues related to the data usage?

2 Answers 2


Check with the journal. All the journals I work with require that either (1) the data be deposited in a public data repository, or that (2) the data be available to other researchers upon request.

But regardless of what the journal says, I see a couple of issues:

  1. How are you going to answer reviewer's comments without access to the data?
  2. If it's your data, how come you don't have access to it? Are you trying to publish someone else's data? I assume you have good answers to these questions, so be prepared to provide those answers.
  • Maybe she is overthinking it. She still has the data she used to have access to, but she doesn't have a subscription to the data provider anymore. But sure, checking with the journal it's probably the best Apr 4 at 7:51

I wouldn't see a problem with one possible caveat. If a review suggests major revisions for which you need access to the data, then you will need to find a way to obtain it. If your leaving was amicable then that can probably be arranged, if only via a former colleague or supervisor.

A more serious case would be that a reviewer suggests the work is fraudulent, though that is unlikely.

It would be hard for others to validate the work on the same data, of course, but that would also be true if the author were still there. And, good science suggests that a "replication" should be independent and likely on different data.

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