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Research Data Services at UK: Data Sharing & Re-use

Resources and information to help you get started with data management, data preservation, and data sharing

Why share your data?

There are a number of benefits to sharing the data associated with your research.

  1. Increases citation of published research
  2. Increases research efficiency by avoiding duplication of effort
  3. Promotes scholarly rigor by making methods, protocols, & data more readily available for peer review & scrutiny
  4. Enhances visibility and scope for engagement, including 'citizen science' and public engagement
  5. Enables new research through the re-use of data and supports the aggregation and re-analysis of data from a wide range of sources
  6. Enhances collaboration and community-building across disciplinary, institutional, national boundaries
  7. Increases the economic and social impact of research, innovation in business and public services, and the return on public investment in research

When should data be shared?

Community standards and funder mandates for data sharing vary by discipline and data type, but here are a few general observations.

  • Some funding agencies provide a specific time period for when they expect data to be shared
  • Many funding agencies allow for embargo periods for political/commercial/patent reasons, but these cases must be explained in the grant's data management plan.

Here are a few funding agency-specific data sharing policies:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    • No later than the acceptance for publication of main findings from the final data set
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
    • 2 years after data collection
  • National Science Foundation (NSF), Earth Sciences Division
    • 2 years after data collection
  • National Science Foundation (NSF), Engineering Directorate
    • 3 years after the end of a project or immediately following a publication, whichever comes first


How can data be shared?

Method Benefit Drawback
Project Website
  • Easily accessible
  • Broad dissemination
  • Requires maintenance
  • No access control
  • No unique identifier
Journal or data paper
  • Associated with publication
  • Shared with peers
  • Requires an article
  • Access may be behind a paywall
Available upon Request
  • Retain control
  • Limited access
  • Time intensive
  • May not be deemed acceptable by funder
  • Institutional repository
  • Open access
  • Unique identifiers
  • No ongoing maintenance
  • No access control
  • Limited by size of data
Discipline-Specific Repository
  • Open access
  • Shared with peers
  • No ongoing maintenance
  • No access control