Sharing Research Data

Research data is: "the recorded factual material commonly accepted in the scientific community as necessary to validate research findings, but not any of the following: preliminary analyses, drafts of scientific papers, plans for future research, peer reviews, or communications with colleagues." (OMB Circular 110)

Why Share Data?

  • Required by some journal publishers (such as Nature), and funding agencies (National Science Foundation, National Institute of Health etc.).  It is expected other funding agencies will also require researchers to share data produced during the course of their research project (see OMB Policy Memorandum on sharing data).  
  • Data can be reused to answer new questions, opens up new interpretations and discoveries. 
  • Sharing data may lead to sharing research process, workflows, and tools (enhances potential for replicating research results). 
  • Makes your articles and papers more useful and citable by others, increases their value!

How to Share Your Data

  • Deposit in an appropriate disciplinary Data Repository
  • Deposit in the University of Arizona's Campus Repository
  • Post on the project's or institution's web site
  • Submit data, along with your article, to a journal publisher (such as Nature)

Tools & Resources

  • DASH (Describe, Manage and Share Your Data)
  • ISA Commons (Investigation, Study, and Assay)

Not all data can be shared, see Data Issues to Consider

The file format is the principal factor in the ability for others to use your data in the future.  You need to plan for software and hardware obsolescence since technology continually changes.  See Data Organization for more information on preferred formats to use for sharing data.

Data documentation will ensure that your data will be understood and interpreted by any user.  Data documentation should start at the beginning of a project and continue throughout the project.  See Data Documentation and Metadata page for more information.