Where to share data?

There are many ways to share data. Many people share with selected individuals via email or private messages. Though there is greater control over who you want to share your data with, it certainly involves more time and effort on your part for each request.

Sharing could also be done via open access platforms such as institutional or discipline specific research data repositories (though some may include access restriction options) or via publications. You would not need to spend time and effort to attend to data requests as anyone with Internet access would be able to find and download your data via these platforms or publications. More funding agencies are requiring open access sharing with minimal restriction. This promotes open data sharing (see ‘Why share data?‘) and increases your chances of being cited for your relevant publications too.

Data publishing

When you make your research data publicly accessible via Internet, it is a form of data publishing. Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) defined data publishing as “the act of making data available on the Internet, so that they can be accessed, downloaded, analysed and reused by anyone for research or other purposes.”

Data publishing has become a common and a growing trend in many research disciplines today. Reasons for this vary. For example, to get data citation, to manage and preserve data for long-term, etc. However, data sharing policies enacted by funding agencies (e.g. NIH, Wellcome Trust) and some publishers such as PLOS and Nature is believed to be the main push factor. 

There are many ways and places to publish research data, e.g. in a data journal or through a subject specific data repository. As such, when depositing your research data, consider those that can store your research data properly over time and one that is able to meet the requirements of your institution, the funding agency and publishers.

Data repositories

It is recommended that you deposit the final research data in your institution or in a recognised open access data repository in your research field. Here are some examples of subject specific data repositories which you can consider:

Biological and Life Sciences


Social Sciences

General data repositories

Data repository registries 

There are some registries of data repositories available on the internet. You may visit some of these Registries to find the most suitable data repositories that suit your need and discipline, e.g.

NTU research data repository

DR-NTU (Data) is the institutional open access research data repository for Nanyang Technological University (NTU). This secure and reliable platform is now open to NTU researchers to deposit their research data. A persistent identifier and suggested citation will be provided once the datasets are successfully deposited.

NTU researchers are strongly encouraged to use DR-NTU (Data) to deposit, publish and archive their final research data in order to make their data discoverable, accessible and reusable.

For more information or assistance in depositing datasets in DR-NTU (Data), please contact us.

Data journals

There are now several data journals that specialize in publishing data.

These data journals not only serve as a platform to exhibit datasets publicly and widely, but also enable the researchers to share their research data outputs with everyone around world more easily.

Examples of data journals:

Video: Scientific Data

An animation video that introduces Scientific Data, an open access, online only publication for descriptions of datasets published by Nature.

(Source: Nature Video)

Further readings:

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