Make your data count

I am about to publish some of my findings

Research findings are often written up into journal articles, books, or other academic publications. But these aren’t the only outputs of the research process: the data which underlies the conclusions is a significant resource in its own right, and may well be of considerable value to the research community.

  • If there is data underpinning your publication, consider whether and how you can make it available to other researchers.
  • Note that in some circumstances there will be good reason not to make your data fully open.
  • Check whether your funder has any requirements regarding archiving of and access to data underpinning publications.
  • The University of Oxford Policy on the Management of Research Data and Records covers both funded and unfunded research.
    • The policy requires researchers to retain the data underpinning research conclusions for as long as it remains of continuing value – but for a minimum of three years.
    • Where possible, researchers are also asked to make the data available to others.
  • The best way to preserve (and if appropriate, share) data underpinning published research conclusions is to deposit it in a repository:
    1. If there is a suitable specialised subject-specific data repository for your data output, deposit it there. Re3data.org offers a catalogue of repositories.
    2. If the research publisher hosts underlying data, deposit the data with them.
    3. If options 1 and 2 are not available, deposit the data in Oxford’s institutional data archive, ORA-Data.
  • Note that depositing data in a repository also makes it easy to cite – most repositories will issue a DOI or other permanent identifier which can be included in your publication.
  • Wherever you deposit the data, you should create a record for it in ORA-Data. ORA-Data acts as a central data catalogue which will feed information to global resource discovery services and help increase your research profile.