Three steps to better research data

You may have noticed that journals are asking authors to share their research data openly. Do you know what your editor expects, and the benefits you get from sharing your research data? Here are three ways to get started with research data sharing.

Like Comment

1. Write a data availability statement

Including a data availability statement with your manuscript is one of the most common requirements from journal editors. This is a short narrative statement explaining to future readers how and where your data can be accessed. 

Unsure where to start? We have lots of tips available for you here. 

2. Consider a data repository

Did you know that many journals now mandate the deposit of datasets into data repositories as a condition of publication? This change is being led by research communities themselves, particularly in the life sciences, earth sciences, and more recently economics. There are specific or recommended repositories available for most research disciplines however.

Looking for a data repository for your research discipline? Try our recommended repositories list, or find more options at fairsharing.org and re3data.org.

3. Think about what you’re sharing

Did you ask your research participants for permission to share their data? Are you reusing a dataset created by another researcher? In some cases, you may not be able to share your data openly. Make sure you’re aware of any limitations on your data sharing, and be prepared to explain these to your editor and peer reviewer, and to outline them in your data availability statement. 

What are the benefits of sharing research data?

  • If you choose to share your data in a repository, you can expect an increase in citations to your published paper by up to 25% on average*
  • Meet the data sharing requirements of your institution and funder more easily
  • Help advance a culture of open and reproducible science in your discipline, to the benefit of all

Do you have a question about research data

Get free help and advice on sharing your research data: visit our research data help desk.

*Colavizza et al. (2020)

Photo by Lindsay Henwood on Unsplash

Dr. Rebecca Grant

Research Data Manager, Springer Nature

I am Springer Nature's Research Data Manager, where I develop products and services to support data management and sharing, including the implementation of standard research data policies across Springer Nature journals. I lead the development of research data training as part of Nature Research Academies, and I am a qualified data trainer certified by the Open Data Institute. My doctoral thesis explored the connections between archival theory and research data management practice.