How to share

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Open Access and data sharing

Scholarly publishing has seen a strong move towards open access to increase the impact of research, with open access journals and copyright policies enabling the deposit of outputs in open access repositories. The same movement also steers towards more open access of the underlying data and evidence on which research publications are based. A growing number of journals require data that underpin research findings to be published in open access repositories when manuscripts are submitted.

Deposit with a data centre

A growing number of funders (including RCUK) expect data with acknowledged long-term value to be preserved and remain accessible and usable for future research.  Some funders e.g. NERC and ESRC have set up data centres to curate, disseminate and preserve data created as part of their funded programmes.  In these cases, researchers are expected to deposit their data in the designated data centre.  A big advantage of depositing your data in an archive or data centre is that it will be preserved in the long-term.  

For more information:

  • The Royal Society published in June 2012 its report on ‘Science as an open enterprise‘ in which it distinguishes between the different tiers of digital repository.

Submit your data to a journal

A condition of publication in some journals is that authors are required to make data promptly available to others without undue qualifications.

Data sets must often be made freely available to readers from the date of publication, and must be provided to editors and peer-reviewers at submission, for the purposes of evaluating the manuscript.  Some publishers are already creating persistent links from articles to relevant datasets. Check your journal’s data policy to find out what the requirements are regarding data.

Self-archive your data

Where funders mandate that raw data be made available alongside final results, you can do this by self-archiving your data in an ‘open access’ repository or an institutional repository.

To find out whether you need to archive your data alongside research outputs in an Open Access data repository, check your funder terms and conditions, or use the Sherpa JULIET service, provided by the University of Nottingham.  Alternatively, view the DCC’s summary of data archiving policies of key funders.

Comprehensive lists of Open Access Data Repositories:

  • – a list of subject repositories for sharing data and long-term preservation
  •  A useful tool for the easy identification of appropriate research data repositories to store data (from all disciplines).You can search the registry for a suitable repository here

 If a suitable external archive is not available, you can deposit your data in the UWTSD research data repository

Informal sharing

Project websites can offer easy immediate storage and dissemination, but will offer less sustainability and it is difficult to control who uses your data and how they use it unless administrative procedures are in place.  Informal peer-to-peer sharing makes it difficult to know which data can be obtained where, requires the right contact, makes managing data access a burden and does not ensure availability of the data in the long-term. Both these arrangements should be avoided.

Help with costs

For RCUK applicants: anticipated costs of depositing research data arising from a project – whether to an internal or an external repository ‐ may be included as direct costs in a grant application. Adequate justification should be provided within the grant application and the expenditure must take place before the actual end date of the project. Where data arising from a research grant is destined for a subject‐specific data repository directly supported by one or more research councils, the allowable expenditure on the research grant would be limited to cost of preparing the data for deposit and ingestion by that repository. (See RCUK-Responses-to-DCC-RDMF-Funder-Questions.pdf).

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Adapted from the University of Oxford under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licence (CC BY 3.0).  Original content at: