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Research Data Management: Data Sharing

Why Share Research Data?

There are many reasons why you may want or not want to share your research data. Some data should not be shared, but should still be preserved. Here are a number of reasons to share your data: 

  • scientific enquiry and debate
  • knowledge translation
  • potiential new uses of data
  • potential new collaborations with other researchers
  • transparency and accountability
  • improves the peer review process
  • contributies to improvement and validation of research methods
  • data sets are considered research outputs
  • if data is shared, it can be given a citation
  • increases visibility and impact of research
  • cuts down on data duplication
  • education and training opportunities
  • funding requirements
  • journal publication requirements

Adapted from Van den Eynden, V., Corti, L., Wollard, M., Bishop, L., & Horton, L. (2011). Managing and Sharing Data: Best Practices for Researchers. Retrieved from UK Data Archive:

Data Sharing Statements

Data sharing statements (sometimes referred to as data availability statements) are often required by journals to let readers how where and how to access the data (if possible) that supports your publication. They often include statements indicating if the data is open, embargoed, restricted, which repository it can be found in etc. Many publishers and other organizations have data sharing statement examples to help you. 

How do I share Research Data?

Where you share your research data will impact the discoverability and preservation of your data. There are a number of avenues for sharing research data. Some include: 

  • A disciplinary data repository
  • An institutional data repository
  • Online via a website
  • Peer to peer transfer (ex. email or dropbox)

Disciplinary Data Repositories

A disciplinary specific data repository is an excellent choice for sharing your data. Discipline specific repositories can often accomodate data specific archiving needs and may be a better choice than other general respositories. Discipline specific repositories do not yet exist for all disciplines. To find a repository in your discipline, try 

Alternatively, here are some selected disciplinary data repositories: 

  • Dryad Dryad is an international repository of data underlying scientific and medical publications, particularly data for which no specialized repository exists. All material in Dryad is associated with a scholarly publication. Most data in the repository are associated with peer-reviewed articles, although data associated with non-peer reviewed publications from reputable academic sources, such as dissertations, are also accepted. Dryad is a non-profit organization.
  • PubChem. From the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • GitHub A repository for data and software among other things. It has a CS focus.
  • DataONE DataONE is an international federation of data repositories containing earth observations data, including data from fields such as ecology, biology, evolution, and environmental sciences such as hydrology, oceanography, and atmospheric science. DataONE is a federation with participation from hundreds of field stations, universities, and government agencies through the DataONE Member Nodes.

Borealis: The Canadian Dataverse Repository

Borealis is the Canadian Data Repository and is made up of institutional dataverse collections. Memorial's Dataverse Collection is part of Borealis and is an institutional data repository available to faculty, staff, and students of Memorial University for the sharing and publishing of research data. With Memorial's Dataverse Collection, you can store your research data on a secure, long-term platform and make it available to share with colleagues and the general public. Please look at our Deposit Guidelines prior to submitting datasets. 

Canada's Data Repository and Discovery Service

The Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR) is a bilingual publishing platform for sharing and preserving Canadian research data. It is a curated, general-purpose repository, custom built for large datasets.

Lunaris is Canada’s national discovery service for multidisciplinary data from research institutions across the country. Datasets from over 90 academic, government, and research repositories are made discoverable in a bilingual interface that provides keyword and map-based searching. 

If you are interested in learning more about FRDR or Lunaris, please contact Alison Farrell.