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Sharing data

What do you mean by sharing data?

Publishing data includes at least one of the following:

  1. sharing information about research datasets with Research Data Australia or discipline-specific portals, and/or
  2. making the collections available to other researchers, either on an individual basis or through a formal publication process.

Why should I share my data?

The Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research states:

"Research data should be made available for use by other researchers unless this is prevented by ethical, privacy or confidentiality matters."

There are number of reasons why you might want to make your data available for reuse. Data that is indexed and accessible for reuse:

  • encourages scientific enquiry and debate
  • promotes innovation and potential new data uses
  • 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 the cost of duplicating data collection
  • increases the impact and visibility of research
  • provides credit to the researcher as a research output in its own right
  • provides great resources for education and training

(from UK Data Archive)

Publisher / Funder mandates

Sometimes, you must publish your data as part of fulfilling your obligations to the entity that funded your research. If this is the case, you will find it helpful to complete a Data Management Plan before you begin collecting or acquiring data.

Intellectual Property considerations

Work out who owns the data and how long you are required to keep it. Have you created the data, or is it re-used from an existing source (and under what licensing conditions are you using it)? More information on Intellectual Property can be obtained via the Office of Research Development.

Human research

Ethical commitments and the consent you seek from participants will affect what you can do with the data later on, so consider potential data sharing and re-use scenarios well before the data is collected. More information on ethical considerations can be found on the Human ethics website.

I want to share my data, so what now?

When you have your research results, you can deposit your data in a repository. Making your data accessible can help promote your research and increase its impact.

Speak to your librarian about archiving and appropriately licensing your data.

What if my data is sensitive?

There are a number of ways that sensitive data can be published. See the ANDS Sensitive data publication guide for more information, or contact your librarian.

For more information on the Open Data project, see the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) website.