SIAM News Blog

SIAM Journals Introduce Supplementary Materials

Recently an ad hoc Committee on Supplementary Materials* formulated a number of recommendations for expanding the online options associated with papers published in SIAM journals. Some of these recommendations have now been implemented, and the options are available to authors, starting with the following journals: SIAM Review, SIAM Journal on Matrix Analysis and Applications, SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, SIAM Journal on Mathematical Analysis, and SIAM Journal on Numerical Analysis. Other journals will soon join this group.

Supplementary Materials, which will be posted online with a link from the webpage for the paper, will consist of un-refereed materials that the author(s), referees, and editor agree are appropriate to accompany the publication. These might include animations of results shown in the paper, additional figures or examples that may be useful to the reader in understanding the paper, or computer code or data sets that were used in generating figures or tables in the paper. Archiving these as Supplementary Materials to accompany the paper will insure that they are available to readers of the journal at a stable URL, and can be cited using the DOI of the article. The refereed portion of the paper should stand on its own as the official publication, while the Supplementary Materials are intended to complement the paper.

All Supplementary Materials must be submitted along with the manuscript, accompanied by an index that lists each attachment and a justification for including it. SIAM submission forms for the journals affected have been redesigned to allow this; details on preparing and submitting this content can be found on the journal-specific Supplementary Materials webpages.

Referees will be asked to give these materials at least a cursory look to insure that they are appropriate as material associated with the paper. Beyond this, Supplementary Materials are generally not refereed, but the referees or editor may suggest changes, including removing some extraneous Supplementary Materials or moving nonessential items from the main text to the Supplementary Materials.

By identifying a broad range of Supplementary Materials, we hope to encourage authors to submit data or computer code that is a critical component of the scholarship contained in the paper. This will go beyond aiding the reader who wants to understand the details of the work presented. Many funding agencies now require that data and/or computer code associated with published research results be made publicly available. The availability of electronic archives for material associated with SIAM publications may assist our authors in complying with such requirements.

On a related topic, authors are also encouraged to use appendices for traditional printed material that should be refereed and published along with the paper, but that need not be part of the main flow. Appendices will continue to be handled as in the past and will appear as part of the paper. We believe that increased use of appendices, together with the capability of attaching Supplementary Materials, will help authors streamline papers for readability while still including all the necessary components to fully document and illustrate the research presented.

*Pavel Bochev, Sue Brenner (ex officio, former VP for Publications), Pam Cook (ex officio, VP for Publications), Jim Crowley, Tom Grandine, Hans Petter Langtangen, and Randy LeVeque (Chair).

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