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Data Management: Share Data

Share data

Know the benefits of data sharing and any requirements for it

… since data sharing may increase the impact of your research and data sharing may be required

Potential benefits of data sharing 

  • increase the citation rate to your publication (Piwowar et al., 2007) 
  • facilitate new scientific inquiry and collaborations 
  • avoid duplicate data collection 
  • provide rich, real-life resources for education 
  • promote scientific transparency and accountability 
  • archive data in a reliable public database 

Funding agencies endorse data sharing 

Journal publication policy

  • Nature and Science require the availability of data and materials as a condition for publication.

Expectations of the research community 

  • For instance, genome data is typically shared by researchers in the field.

Target your research community and use a reliable and supported system for data sharing

… to help colleagues find, obtain, and use your data

Approach to data sharing



Announce that your data is available for sharing and then email a copy to requestors


Upload data to your research or institutional website and permit downloads

Publish data in a journal

Publish data as supplementary online materials

Deposit data into an archive or repository(?) at your institution 

For example, Merritt is a cost-effective repository service from the University of California Curation Center (UC3) that allows the UC community to manage, archive, and share its digital content.

Additionally, try Dash, a self-service tool for publishing data sets online through the UC Berkeley Library.

Deposit data into a public archive or repository that is:

  • popular with your research community
  • discipline- or domain-specific
  • has national or global coverage

By sharing data on a reliable system that is popular among your research colleagues, you may improve the exposure of your data and maximize research impact.

Ask your colleagues where they deposit their data, and share data where they're sharing theirs.

You can find subject-specific archives and repositories in these directories:

Based on Vision et al. (2011)


  • If you share data, explain in your publications how readers may obtain a copy.

Assign permanent identifiers to data

... to help researchers find your digital files

One option is a DOI

  • A DOI generally looks like this: 10.1126/science.331.6018.692

  • It is a permanent identification system for your digital files.  Think of it as a unique identification number for your file.

Find a file by its DOI 

  • In a web browser, enter followed by the DOI name.  This URL will direct you to the file location.

  • This works because DOIs have descriptive details of the file associated with them including the location details.  

DOIs are more stable links to your file

  • A file's location/URL may change, but its DOI remains the same.

  • So when a file is moved, the reader will be re-directed to the new location if the DOI details are updated with its new URL.

Generating DOIs

Share data selectively

… so researchers find what’s important

Share the best version of your data or files. Consider whether preliminary analyses or drafts will be necessary or helpful. 

Be cautious of sharing confidential, private, personal, or proprietary information. 

Share data within ethical and legal requirements

… for responsible research practice 

  • Protect the privacy and confidentiality of research subjects
  • Protect national security
  • Protect proprietary information
  • Comply with regulations under HIPAA, Institutional Review Boards, and other ethical research requirements
  • Follow all obligations toward research participants, colleagues, research funders, and institutions

Share data through open access

... to maximize access and re-use by other researchers 

When data is open access, they are digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions for other researchers.

This sense of openness may encourage data re-use and improve the citations to your work and the research impact (Piwowar et al., 2007). 

To share your data through open access:

Try online collaboration services to share data within your research team

... it will be easier for your team to view and edit the data together 

There are online services that let you upload research materials so that they are viewable in a web browser.  You can then create accounts for your team members so they can make changes to these files collaboratively. 

Sample online collaboration services

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