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For several decades, specifically in the field of science, a new model for how to carry out research has been proposed. It is encouraged that data be openly shared with the community with the purpose of advancing scientific progress. Many institutions have joined the cause and, since 2013, agencies that provide funds for research in the United States, such as the DOD, DOT, IMLS, NSF, NOAA, NIH, and USGS, among others, require data to be published. Countless academic journals, such as Nature, PLOS, Science, APA journals, and others, have joined in, requiring their authors to share their research data along with the publication.
Who benefits from the publication of data
There are many who benefit when you share your research data:
Creator / Researcher
Your data is stored in a secure place and you can access it many years after your research project has ended.
You obtain acknowledgment from other researchers for the collection of data.
Reuse of data saves money and facilitates investigative advancement by avoiding duplication.
The benefits of providing funds for research are more clearly demonstrated when data is used for multiple studies.
The data necessary for others to replicate research projects is provided along with the articles.
The availability of data helps determine if an author has incurred in fraud or other types of research misconduct, limiting the publication of articles containing information that could prove harmful to the community.
The data can be used in new and diverse research projects.
More details about how a study was conducted are provided.
The availability of data sets can promote collaboration between researchers who conduct similar studies.
What data should be shared?
Researchers are encouraged to make the following data available:
Data that is necessary to validate and reproduce the research project
Data that might have value beyond your research project.
Unique data, in other words, data that cannot be recreated or collected at a later time.
Data required to be disseminated by agencies and academic journals.
In 2014, the publishing company Wiley conducted a study about national and international tendencies regarding publication of data. To see the details in depth, click on the image below.
Write and article about your data to obtain more visibility
Publication: Make your data known (accepted)
As part of your article
In a poster or conference
With a link to supplementary material
Repository: Expand its reach (recommended)
A repository dedicated to your discipline
From a public institution
Data journal: Complement your efforts
Write a descriptive article about the collected data
What you should consider before sharing your data
Although it is recommended to share your data whenever possible, you should consider certain elements before doing so:
Carefully read the mandates from the agencies that funded your project and the policies of the academic journal you wish to publish in.
Verify that your data does not contain information that is private, personally identifiable, sensitive, related to a possible patent, confidential, or that must not be disseminated due to commercial reasons.