Policy on Revisions of Data and Code Deposits in the AEA Data and Code Repository (September 2020)

This policy has been superseded. Please see the current policy.

Once an article has been published in an AEA journal, the associated data and code deposit will also have been published in the AEA Data and Code Repository. Both publications are considered permanent.

However, it may become necessary or desirable to update the code and data deposit associated with a published manuscript. Reasons may include:

  • the code or the data have been updated to more accurately or more easily reproduce the results in the manuscript
  • data which previously could not be made available is now redistributable
  • the data availability has changed and the availability statement should be updated
  • the data are found to contain confidential or copyrighted materials


No Replacement

All previously published deposits will remain available, except when privacy or copyright infringements have been identified. When updating and publishing a deposit, a new version is created (V1, V2, etc.). All versions connect to each other, for example, if a V2 has been created, there is an indication from the V1 version that it exists, and vice versa.


Should a data and code deposit be found to be in infringement of copyright, confidentiality, or other data use agreements, it may be "unpublished." The repository will continue to display metadata, including filenames, but the files will no longer be available.

Identifying That the Deposit Has Been Updated

All data and code deposits are required to have a README. For updates, the README should clearly state (within the first paragraph or as a banner) that it was updated after publication.

Suggested language:

The data and code in this deposit have been updated after publication of the article. For changes made, see below.

After an introductory paragraph, a clearly identified section or paragraph called “Changes Made” should also be added. This should briefly and succinctly describe the changes made.


The code has been simplified, and better instructions provided. All results are the same.

Permission was obtained by the data provider to post additional data. Figures 5, 8, and 10 are now reproducible with this archive.

Minimal Modifications

Authors should update only those files that need to be added, edited, or removed. Wholesale replacement of the entire archive is not allowed.

Review and Approval

In all cases, the AEA Data Editor will need to review the updated materials provided.

The AEA Data Editor will review the metadata associated with the new version. However, the same level of verification of computational reproducibility afforded to new submissions cannot be provided, except in select cases.

Version of Record and Linking

When the article is published, the approved version of the data and code deposit becomes the version of record. In the case of a minimal update, the AEA will consider the updated version as the new version of record and will change the link from the article page to point to that version.  For any substantive updates, the link will not be changed.  However, in all cases, all published versions of the data deposit will be visible on the repository page.

Minimal changes include:

  • clarity of documentation in README or code
  • ­modifications to the deposit that do not affect the computation of the tables and figures in the manuscript

Substantive changes include:

  • new data or code, even if it improves the overall reproducibility of the package
  • any modification to data or code that has the potential to change tables and figures

Practical Considerations

Prerequisites: Deposit Ownership

If the materials were deposited with the AEA prior to the announcement of the 2019 Data and Code Availability Policy, the "owner" of the deposit is the AEA Data Editor. In order to update the deposit, authors should request that the AEA Data Editor share the deposit with them.

If the deposit was made after July 2019, one of the authors retains the ability to submit revisions.

Uploading Changes

When uploading changes, authors should consult the generic AEA Deposit Instructions and supplementary guidance. In particular, we encourage authors to update and enrich any metadata previously not entered, such as geographic scope and time periods covered by the data.

  • If replacing files, you will first need to delete the original file.
  • Do not replace anything that does not need replacing (in other words, use surgical replacement rather than bulldozer replacement).
  • Do not upload ZIP files. All files need to be expanded. You may use the "Import from ZIP" functionality.

Publishing Changes

When publishing a deposit, a new version number is automatically assigned. A title for that version can be provided. Suggested version titles:

  • Post-publication update fixing various issues
  • Post-publication update providing additional data