Why share your data?
Proper preservation of the data ensures the integrity of the data remains in tact for future use and easy access. Whether or not you share your research data, the University of Washington has requirements for the preservation of research data which are laid out in Grants Information Memorandum 37. For specific retention requirements for research data, see General Schedule 7: Research and Grant/Contract Records.
Reasons to share your data:
- Accelerates research and provides greater exposure to data
- Increases possibility of future research collaborations
- Potential increased citation of source papers (Piwowar, 2007)
- Increases return on research investment by allowing continued re-use of data (funding agencies value this)
- Funding agencies and journals (e.g. Nature, Science) are now implementing data sharing requirements
- Encourages scientific enquiry and debate
Questions to consider before sharing your data:
- How much and which aspects of your data will you share? (Raw data? Analyzed? Both?)
- Are there privacy or security issues with your data and how will they be resolved? (Anonymization? Informed consent? Controlled access?)
- When will you make the data available? (As soon as it's collected? Upon project completion? After publication?)
- With whom will you share your data? (Your department? Your institution? Others in your field? Everyone?)
How to share your data?
Ways in which data can be shared:
- Deposit in a subject-specific or institutional repository
- Submit as supplementary information with an article to be published in a journal
- Make available on a website
- On departmental servers
- Informal peer-to-peer sharing via email or removable media
Where to store your data?
There are a number of options to choose from when deciding where to store your data. Deciding which option is best for you may require some thought. It is recommended that your data be saved and stored on a minimum of two options.
Options (some of these are less than optimal):
- External hard drive
- Departmental server or storage network
- Third Party Cloud storage space
- Portable media (flash drives, DVDs, CDs)