Publishing and sharing your research data

Increasingly, research data are considered as valuable a research output as the scholarly research papers and monographs which communicate the results of the research. As a published research output, they may be referred to or reused as the basis for further research and then must be correctly cited. Research dataset citation counts contribute to the measure of a researcher’s impact and research datasets are now considered a form of research output for the Research Excellence Framework submissions.
At the end of your research project, your funder may require you to make your research data available for sharing with as few restrictions as possible. Most funders allow a delayed release to allow researchers to have exclusive use of their data and to exploit the results of their research. Restrictions on the release of data may be allowed, to protect confidentiality and for other ethical and legal considerations, or data may be anonymised to make sharing possible.

Open access to research data

Research funders have recognised that to achieve the best return for their funding, the resulting research data should be reused where possible, and this is best accomplished through making it openly accessible. See more about the benefits of opening access to research data through Citation and credit.

Where to publish data

In addition to informal sharing of data by researchers, data may be shared by being published:-

  1. by Data Centres and Discipline based Data Repositories that have been established by research funders and researcher communities.
  2. as an article’s supplementary material by a journal publisher as an article’s supplementary material. Check your journal publisher’s policy - this may specify the use of a particular public data repository.
  3. by a Data Journal, as a data (description) paper. Some publishers maintain repositories for the described data, though most will specify the use of a particular public data repository.

Find out more about Research Data Repositories.

For further information, please contact rdm@sheffield.ac.uk