How to share research data
Sharing digital data within the project team
Your Faculty IT Manager can help you to identify and set up technical solutions to support sharing research data with other researchers inside or outside of the University of Sydney. These solutions may include collaborative research environments and data transfer tools.
Sharing digital research data when a project is finished
If you have research data that is no longer being worked on, you can disseminate that data by depositing it in a repository or archive and maximise the impact of your research.
There are various ways to share research data including:
- depositing data with a specialist data centre or archive
- depositing data in an institutional repository
- submitting data to a journal to support a publication
- making data available online via a project or institutional website
Specialist data centre or archive
Depositing data in a repository or archive is one way of ensuring your data can be accessed and cited in the long term, and may be a requirement for funding or publishing your research. Most repositories or archives are specific to a particular discipline.
The advantages of depositing data with a specialist data centre include:
- long-term preservation of data in standardised accessible data formats
- safe-keeping of data in a secure environment with the ability to control access where required
- regular data back-ups
- licensing arrangements to acknowledge data rights
- standardised citation mechanism to acknowledge data ownership
- promotion of data to many users
- monitoring of the secondary usage of data
- management of access to data and user queries on behalf of the data owner
Examples of Australian repositories and archives
- Australian Data Archive
- Aboriginal Studies Electronic Data Archive (ASEDA)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Data Archive (ATSIDA)
- BlueNet - the Australian Marine Science Data Network
- Geoscience Australia Petroleum Data Repository
- Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC)
Examples of international repositories and archives
- Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN) Data Repository
- Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
- International Spectroscopic Data Bank (IS-DB)
- Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity
- Petrological Database of the the Ocean Floor (PetDB)
- System for Earth Sample Registration (SESAR)
- TreeBASE: A Database of Phylogenetic Knowledge
- World Data System
- World Wide Protein Data Bank (PDB)
Databib is a collaborative, annotated bibliography of primary research data repositories developed with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (US)
- The Open Access Directory (OAD)
The OAD is a compendium of simple factual lists about open access (OA) to science and scholarship, maintained by the international OA community. The OAD includes lists of OA data directories and repositories
Depositing in an institutional repository
The University of Sydney’s Sydney eScholarship Repository is an institutional repository that is not discipline-specific. The service is run by the University of Sydney Library and focuses on providing open access to research outputs in digital formats.
The Sydney eScholarship Repository also contains research data. Examples include:
- The Z stack of a late brachiolaria larva of the asterinid sea star Parvulastra exigua recorded by confocal laser scanning microscopy School of Biological Sciences
- Archaeological Fish Bone Images Archive Tables Department of Archaeology
Please see the following information:
- What can be archived in the Sydney eScholarship Repository?
- Sydney eScholarship Repository: policies and guidelines
To discuss your requirements please contact your Faculty Liaison Librarian
or call the Sydney eScholarship Repository staff
Phone: (02) 93517407
Submit to a journal in support of a publication
Journals increasingly require data that form the basis for publications to be shared or deposited within an accessible database or repository.
Nature journals have a policy that requires authors to make data and materials available to readers, as a condition of publication, preferably via public repositories. Appropriate discipline-specific repositories are suggested.
Some research disciplines have well established data sharing practices. For example, researchers working on small molecule crystal structures, should submit the data and materials to the Cambridge Structural Database (CSD), as a Crystallographic Information File, a standard file structure for the archiving and distribution of crystallographic information.
Making data available via a project website
Some research projects make data-sharing part of their business-as-usual and contribute project resources to hosting and managing data for sharing and re-use online. These data sharing activities are made possible by the research groups' commitment to robust data management practices through developing, implementing and maintaining data management systems.
Case study: EarthByte
The University of Sydney's EarthByte Group is one of the world’s leading research groups for global and regional plate tectonic reconstructions and for studying the interplay between the deep earth and surface processes. The EarthByte Group leads the development of open-source plate reconstruction software, GPlates.
A range of grid datasets are made available via the project’s website following publication of the results in an academic journal. Further datasets are available via an FTP server to researchers who seek permission from Earthbyte.