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Achieving a widespread and effective form of data sharing has become a priority for the entire scientific community. Adopting editorial policies which promote data sharing, Journals may complement the action of funding agencies and scientific societies.

Since volume 90 (2012), the Journal of Anthropological Sciences has adopted a new policy for data sharing. While the use of well established online databases (e.g. GenBank for genetic data) is strongly enforced, authors are also requested to deposit their raw dataset in our archive (Anthro-Digitdata, Anagnostou & Destro Bisol 2011).  In specific cases, data can be made available with restrictions, but we ask the authors to state publicly the reasons behind their choice. This may provide useful information for the debate on research data sharing and reasons behind data withholding.

The development of Anthro-Digitdata has two objectives. First, we would like to give authors a chance of archiving results for which no repository of general use has been already created.  Second, we invite authors to combine their results along with metadata which can make their reuse more effective and adapt to ask research questions. The ultimate scope is to contribute to create standards which may help enhance the exploitation of data for anthropological purposes.

Anthro-Digitdata is not necessarily limited to JASs authors. Other data of interest to an anthropological audience can be archived on condition that they come from papers published in peer reviewed journals. Note that this is not just a duplication, since by Anthro-Digitdata metadata of anthropological interest (pertaining to populations and/or individuals) may be shared.

While there are no limitations to the type of data which can be deposited, in this first stage we are working especially on population genetic data. We rely on the feedback of authors of JASs papers and to extend the use of metadata to other types of datasets.