Data Sharing has multiple benefits which include increasing the visibility of your research, facilitating new discoveries by other researchers, and meeting funding requirements.
The FAIR principles are a set of guiding principles that have been largely accepted by researchers and the data-sharing community. They are a set of guiding principles that help ensure research data is shared in such a way that enhances reproducibility and transparency. They go beyond the act of just sharing data, and ensure data has value once it is shared. The four principles are that data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable.
Data needs to be findable by researchers for it to be used. Datasets should
Potential users of the data need to be able to access the data and/or information about the data.
Data should be in recognized formats to make them easily reused by others and by different programs.
Data that is shared serves no purpose if it cannot readily be reused for future research.
Institutional repositories are hosted by academic institutions. Data is accepted for all disciplines and are designed to ensure long-term preservation. Researchers outside the institution are unaware of their existence, making data less discoverable.
Disciplinary repositories are curated by domain experts and have domain-specific metadata to allow for greater discovery. The NIH hosts many such repositories for health science topics.
Generalist repositories accept data regardless of field and are designed for wide discoverability across research domains.
Generally speaking, disciplinary and generalist repositories are best for sharing your data. Reach out to a librarian if you would like help identifying what repository is a good fit for your research.
Many research funders, journals, and publishers require data sharing as a condition of receiving research funding or publication. See the resources below for help identifying if funders have data-sharing policies. The best place to find information on a journal or publisher's policy is on their website. If you need help complying with a data-sharing policy, reach out to your liaison librarian for assistance.
Not all data can be shared freely. Sometimes legal, technical, or ethical concerns may limit or prevent data sharing. Common situations include
When data cannot be shared freely, common approaches include