Why share research data?


Before sharing data during a project or after the project is finished, you need to make sure that you have considered the implications of doing so, in terms of copyright and IP ownership, and ethical requirements like privacy and confidentiality.

See also:
How to share.
Ethics and data sharing

Benefits

Sharing research data:

  • promotes the research that created the data and its outcomes
  • increases the impact and visibility of research
  • can provide a direct credit to the researcher through data citation
  • promotes innovation and potential new data uses
  • encourages scientific enquiry and debate
  • leads to new collaborations between data users and data creators
  • maximises transparency and accountability
  • enables scrutiny of research findings
  • encourages the improvement and validation of research methods
  • reduces research duplication
  • provides important resources for education and training

Expectations from journals and funding agencies

Sharing research data is now actively encouraged by funding agencies and journal publishers.

Funding agencies

The Australian Research Council (ARC) and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) outline data sharing requirements for researchers in the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research:

Research data should be made available for use by other researchers unless this is prevented by ethical, privacy or confidentiality matters [Section 2.5.2]

Journals

Journal publishers increasingly require that data associated with publications be made accessible for sharing and re-use, including the journals Science and Nature.

Nature - Availability of data and materials policy states that:

An inherent principle of publication is that others should be able to replicate and build upon the authors' published claims. A condition of publication in a Nature journal is that authors are required to make materials, data, code, and associated protocols promptly available to readers without undue qualifications.