The Research Data Management Policy at the University of Galway states that
Reasons for sharing data
There may be reasons for not sharing your data e.g. privacy and confidentiality issues, commercial value of the data. Horizon 2020 has coined the phrase “As open as possible, as closed as necessary.”
If you are unable to publicly share your data, consider the possibility that you may wish to make your data available internally to future researchers to facilitate follow-on research, and/or to create a metadata record in your chosen archives or repository. A metadata record will describe your data and aid others in knowing about it. In order to ensure this can happen you will need to manage your data.
Ref: CONUL Research Group (2018). Where to submit data: CONUL Information Sheet.
Legal and Ethical considerations
Some data may not be suitable for sharing. There may be legal or ethical factors to consider e.g., consent, privacy, copyright or commercial considerations.
For further information read the DCCs (Digital Curation Centre) guide on How to appraise and select research data for curation
Data deposits should be accompanied by supporting documentation and metadata to help others make sense of your data.A data license to indicate how you expect the data to be used is also necessary. For further information Information read the DCCs (Digital Curation Centre) guide on How to License Research Data
Restricting access to your research data
There are many reason why access to research data may need to be restricted. Some examples are provided below
“We intend to make a patent application, and must avoid prior disclosure.”
“Don’t want to make locations of members of endangered species available to poachers.”
“The research data are confidential because of the arrangement my research group has made with the commercial partner sponsoring our research.”
“My data form part of a long-term study upon which my research group is entirely reliant for its on-going research publications and academic reputation. We only share this with trusted colleagues.”
Generalist Repository Ecosystem Initiative (GREI) Workshop https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7714262
Attribution and credit for research outputs also applies to research data. Data citation provides the information necessary to locate, attribute and access the research data, also enabling it to verified or reused.
Benefits of data citation
Citations should include a Persistent Identifier
ADVICE: Use the Library's DOI service to obtain a DOI for a dataset.
A dataset citation should include where applicable:
See also guidelines provided by the Data Curation Centre
Learn more about ...
Data citation principles
Software citation principles
Data repositories or archives
A data repository allows researchers to upload and publish their data, thereby making the data available for other researchers to re-use. Similarly, a data archive allows users to deposit and publish data but will generally offer greater levels of curation to community standards, have specific guidelines on what data can be deposited and is more likely to offer long-term preservation as a service. Sometimes the terms data repositories and data archives are used interchangeably. A data repository or archive will provide services such as:
When to select a data repository?
Choose early so that you can familiarise yourself with the repository’s requirements. Requirements may include:
Understanding such requirements will enable you to design your data collection materials for easier metadata and documentation creation.
How to select a data repository
Other questions may pertain depending on your requirements. For more information see the UK’s Digital Curation Centre’s checklist
Locate a data repository
Some universities have their own data repositories that offer the facility for researchers to deposit, share and licence their data resources for discovery and use by others. There are more than 600 discipline-specific data repositories worldwide with community specific standards. They may also be called data centres or archives.
re3data.org (Registry of Research Data Repositories) is the primary place to locate a data repository. You can search it by specific research discipline and then filter by access categories, data usage licenses, whether the repository gives the data a persistent identifier etc.
Re3data uses a series of symbols to indicate key services e.g.
See also FAIRsharing.org which is a manually curated registry and has a historical focus on the life sciences.
Discipline-specific repositories have the expertise and resources to deal with particular types of data. They have different policies and may charge for their services.
See also PLOS recommended repositories
If there is no disciplinary-specific repository in your area select a general repository. These can handle a variety of different data types. Charges may apply but can be included in a funding application. Key general repositories are listed in the table below. This list is for information purposes only and is not exhaustive:
Data Hub provides free access to its core features letting you search for data, register published datasets, create and manage groups of datasets
Dataverse A personal dataverse is easy to set up, allows you to display your data on your personal website, can be branded uniquely as your research program, makes your data more discoverable to the research community, and satisfies data management plans
Dryad hosts a wide range of data types. For some journals there is no charge to deposit in Dryad.
Fig is a repository where users can make all of their research outputs available in a citable, shareable and discoverable manner
Github is a code hosting site where you can store and share code for free
Open Science Framework is a free open platform that supports research and enables collaboration
Zenodo is a multi-disciplinary data repositories where researchers can deposit both publications and data and create links between them
Some Irish repositories:
ICPSR is an international consortium of more than 750 academic institutions and research organizations that maintains a data archive of more than 250,000 files of research in the social and behavioral sciences
How to find a trustworthy repository for your data? Guides for Researchers from OpenAIRE
See also the Generalist Repository Comparison Chart by Stall, Shelley et al. (2020). Generalist Repository Comparison Chart. Zenodo.
See also ANNEX 1 - Inventory of identified trusted repositories.xlsx produced as part of the following report:
Jahn, Najko, Laakso, Mikael, Lazzeri, Emma, & McQuilton, Peter. (2023). Study on the readiness of research data and literature repositories to facilitate compliance with the Open Science Horizon Europe MGA requirements (Version 1.0). Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.772801
When you make your data available you need to use a license so that potential users know what they are allowed to do with your data.
A license states what can be done with the data and how that data can be redistributed e.g. Creative Commons Licences
Ball, A. (2014). ‘How to License Research Data’. DCC How-to Guides. Edinburgh: Digital Curation Centre.
Learn more about rights relating to research data from the UK Data Service
GitHub is the main platform for hosting and reviewing code. It offers a number of advantages such as assigning DOIs (which facilitates discoverability and citeability) and allowing integration from Zenodo and FigShare repositories to enable the citing of your GitHub repository in academic literature.
The following guide is designed to assist curators of research data in making informed and sustainable value assessments for long-term preservation:
Jonathan Dorey, Grant Hurley, & Beth Knazook. (2022). Appraisal Guidance for the Preservation of Research Data. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.5942236
The Library proactively supports and enhances the learning, teaching, and research activities of the University. The Library acts as a catalyst for your success as University of Galway’s hub for scholarly information discovery, sharing, and publication.