Public Library of Science
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PLOS Open Science Indicators

posted on 2023-09-29, 14:22 authored by Public Library of Science

This dataset contains article metadata and information about Open Science Indicators for approximately 78,000 research articles published in PLOS from 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2023 and a set of approximately 16,000 comparator articles published in non-PLOS journals. This is the fourth release of this dataset, which will be updated with new versions as newly published content is analysed.

This version of the Open Science Indicators dataset comprises of 2 components. The first, also included in earlier versions of the dataset, focuses on detection of three Open Science practices by analysing the XML of published research articles:

  • Sharing of research data, in particular data shared in data repositories
  • Sharing of code
  • Posting of preprints

The dataset provides data and code generation and sharing rates, the location of shared data and code (whether in Supporting Information or in an online repository). It also provides preprint sharing rates as well as details of the shared preprint, such as publication date, URL and preprint server used. Additional data fields are also provided for each article analysed, such as geographic information (‘Country’) and research topics (‘Discipline’).

The second component, new to this version, contains a fourth Open Science Indicator - detection of protocol sharing. This is presented as a preliminary version of the data. The protocols dataset contains information on whether protocols sharing from the article has been detected and the sources of those protocols (i.e. where the protocol was shared).

Further information on the methods used to collect and analyse the data can be found in Main Documentation folder for the main OSI dataset or the Preliminary Release for Protocols Indicator folder for protocols.

Further information on the principles and requirements for developing Open Science Indicators is available in

Data folders/files

Main Data Files folder

This folder contains the main OSI dataset files PLOS-Dataset_v4_Sep23.csv and Comparator-Dataset_v4_Sep23.csv, which contain 

  • descriptive metadata, e.g. article title, publication data, author countries, is taken from the article .xml files
  • additional information around the Open Science Indicators derived algorithmically, using Natural Language Processing

and the OSI-Summary-statistics_v4_Sep23.xlsx file contains the summary data for both PLOS-Dataset_v4_Sep23.csv and Comparator-Dataset_v4_Sep23.csv used in

Main Documentation folder

This file contains documentation related to the main data files. The file OSI-Methods-Statement_v4_Sep23.pdf describes the methods underlying the data collection and analysis. OSI-Column-Descriptions_v2_Mar23.pdf describes the fields used in PLOS-Dataset_v4_Sep23.csv and Comparator-Dataset_v4_Sep23.csv. OSI-Repository-List_v1_Dec22.xlsx lists the repositories and their characteristics used to identify specific repositories in the PLOS-Dataset_v4_Sep23.csv and Comparator-Dataset_v4_Sep23.csv repository fields.

Preliminary Release for Protocols Indicator folder

This folder contains files related to the new Indicator on protocol sharing. The file Protocols-Dataset_Sep23.csv contains data on protocol sharing pertaining to the PLOS and Comparator corpus of articles. The methods for developing this indicator are described in Protocols-Methods-Statement_Sep23.pdf. The Protocols-Column-Headings_Sep23.pdf file described the column headings used in Protocols-Dataset_Sep23.csv. A summary of the protocols dataset is given in Protocols-Summary-Statistics_Sep23.xlsx, which is used within the related blog post

Contact details for further information:

Iain Hrynaszkiewicz, Director, Open Research Solutions, PLOS, /

Lauren Cadwallader, Open Research Manager, PLOS, /


Thanks to Allegra Pearce, Tim Vines and Asura Enkhbayar of DataSeer for contributing to data acquisition and supporting information.


No external funding was received for this work.