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RWP 21-14, December 2021

For many years, economics researchers have discussed the importance of sharing code and data files to ensure replicability. The discussion, however, rarely includes questions about long-term access to those files. This paper looks in-depth at the code and data policies from top economics journals to understand the guidance provided to researchers regarding data sharing and asks if that guidance supports preservation of code and data files for access and use, long into the future. We used content analysis to review journal policies from 184 economics journals. We discovered that while most journals recommend code and data be released with papers and that a few journals recommend practices consistent with long-term preservation, almost no journals specifically or emphatically consider long-term preservation of those files.

JEL Codes: B40 (Economic Methodology: General); C80 (Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs: General); Y80 (Related Disciplines)

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Article Citation

  • Butler, Courtney R., Brett D. Currier, and Kira Lillard. “Safeguarding Research: A Review of Economics Journals’ Preservation Policies for Published Code and Data Files.” Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Research Working Paper no. 21-14, December. Available at External Link


Courtney R. Butler

Data Management Strategist

Courtney R. Butler is a Data Management Strategist in the Data Utility Office (DUO) at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. She holds a Master of Arts in Organizational Leade…

Brett D. Currier

Digital Scholarship Librarian and Library Manager

Brett D. Currier is the Digital Scholarship Librarian and the Library Manager in Research Support Services (RSS) at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.  He joined the Bank i…

Kira M. Lillard

Technical Services Librarian

Kira M. Lillard is Technical Services Librarian in Research Support Services (RSS) at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Prior to joining the Bank in April 2020, she was Di…