To share or not to share?

Sharing your data:

  • can help you build your academic track record:  sharing data can facilitate its rediscovery and its preservation as technology becomes obsolete.  Many studies have shown a correlation between archived or open access data to copies of published articles and citation impact.
  • enables data to be validated and tested, improving the scientific record.
  • meets funding body requirements obliging award holders to share their data to avoid duplication of effort and to cut unnecessary costs.
  • is in the public interest, where research data has been publicly funded – in line with the OECD principles and guidelines for access to research data from public funding
  • means that data can be reused for scientific and educational purposes.

When not to share:

You may have reasons for wanting to restrict public access to your research data:

  • You intend to make a patent application, and must avoid prior disclosure.  Seek advice before sharing from RIES (Research, Innovation & Enterprise Services)
  • Your research data includes confidential human patient data.  See the Ethical & Legal issues pages for more information.
  • Your research data are confidential because of the arrangement your research group has made with the commercial partner sponsoring your research.

Often, sensitive and confidential data can be shared ethically if informed consent for data sharing has been given, or by anonymising research data.  See the UK Data Archive’s Consent & Ethics pages for more information and advice on:




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