May 25, 2022

Report: “The Push to Replace Journal Supplements with Repositories”

From The Scientist: 

Depositing material that would end up in supplementary files in places other than the journal is becoming an increasingly common practice. Some academics opt to post this information on their own websites, but many others are turning to online repositories offered by universities, research institutions, and companies. There is a huge range of options for authors to choose from: in addition to popular generalist repositories, such as figshare, Zenodo, and Dryad, there are dozens of subject-specific databases, such as GenBank for genetic sequences, OpenNeuro for neuroimaging data, and the Crystallography Open Database for crystal structures.


Some researchers still see academic journals as a better option for publishing supplementary files than independent repositories. “The traditional journal system is very entrenched in science and it just needs to be modernized,” says Mark Gerstein, a bioinformatician at Yale University. One fix Gerstein and his colleagues have proposed is a structured supplement, which would parallel the main text and be easily navigable via links from the primary manuscript. “The whole point of the supplement is to make the paper easier to read,” Gerstein adds. “We want people to have sections in the paper that they read quickly and enjoy, and we want them to know where to do that deep dive when they want to.”

Read the Complete Article (approx. 2000 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.