Data stewardship is an essential element of the publication process. Knowing how to enact data polices that are described only in general terms can be difficult, however. Examples are needed to model the implementation of open-data polices in actual studies. Here we explain the procedure used to attain a high and consistent level of data stewardship across a special issue of the journal Climate of the Past. We discuss the challenges related to (1) determining which data are essential for public archival, (2) using data generated by others, and (3) understanding data citations. We anticipate that open-data sharing in paleo sciences will accelerate as the advantages become more evident and as practices that reduce data loss become the accepted convention.