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At the end of your project you’ll need to think about how you will share and archive your data for future use. Many funders and publishers now require researchers to share their data as a condition of funding and publication. The best way to do this is to deposit your data in a recognised data repository, which will make your data findable and improve the accessibility and re-usability of your data for the long term (FAIR).

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What data to share

It is important that you do not share any data from potentially commercialisable research. Visit the JRES Enterprise pages for relevant guidance on communicating intellectual property (IP).

Your data must be anonymised prior to sharing. You should never share data containing identifiable information.

If your data contains information classified as ‘sensitive’ then you can still make it available, though under strict access conditions. Access to controlled access research data at St George’s, University of London is governed by an independent, transparent process. See Sensitive data for more information on sharing and providing access to sensitive data.

Preparing your data for sharing

If you are submitting your data to a repository, always check the repository’s requirements before you start preparing your data for sharing. You may need to organise or document your data according to specified standards before it can be accepted.

Always redact, anonymise or de-identify your data before making them available. The UK Information Commissioner’s Office has published a code of practice for anonymising data. More information on how to anonymise or redact data can be found on the UK Data Service website and the Irish Qualitative Data Archive.

Good quality data is shared as a data package that includes both the data and its related documentation. This will make your data interoperable and re-usable. Good practice is to share any software or code supporting a project as a separate package that references (and links to, if possible) the data package. This is because source code and data are normally shared under different licences.

You should always share your data under an appropriate licence. A licence protects your work by telling others how they can legally reuse your content. Selecting an appropriate licence can be a daunting task. This licence selector can help you to select the most appropriate licence for your work.

You may find our Preparing your data for deposit (PDF) checklist useful while you organise your data for sharing.
Repositories

There are a number of repository options available to share and preserve your data. This section identifies a few general and subject-specific repositories available to researchers.

It is always best to choose a national data centre or subject-specific repository to share your data as these are more likely to be accessed by researchers in your field. Data that you have shared elsewhere should be recorded, and where possible linked to, on the St George’s data repository.

If you would like support in selecting a repository that’s right for your data, please contact the Research Data Management Service.

Subject-specific repositories

The Wellcome Trustmaintains a list of data repositories covering: nucleotide, genome, protein and macromolecular structures, microarray, proteomics, social sciences and humanities databases, as well as bacterial and virus collections. There are also data collections and repositories listed by the BBSRC for biotechnological and biological sciences research.

FAIRsharing.org also maintains a searchable list of subject-specific repositories.

General repositories

Zenodo is a free repository for data from all subject areas. Zenodo is maintained by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) and will ensure that your data will be discoverable to other researchers and preserved for at least 10 years. You may also set restrictions on access to the data, so it does not have to be completely open access.

Dryad and Figshare are other general-purpose repositories.

St George’s research data repository

The St George's Research Data Repository is a digital archive for discovering, cataloguing, storing, sharing and preserving research content produced at St George's. You can use the archive to:

  • share your research data, source code, conference papers, posters, presentations, images, videos, and a range of other digital research outputs
  • register and link to data and other research material that are already in the public domain, but are difficult to discover, cite and measure for impact.

Each deposit in the St George’s data repository is provided with a digital object identifier (DOI) which allows items to be uniquely cited and assessed for impact. This DOI can be used in data access statements on your journal papers.

Instructions for using the repository are in the next section.
Using the SGUL research data repository
Log in

Before you deposit your data in the repository, please ensure that you have completed the preparing your data for deposit checklist.

Once you have completed the checklist:

  • go to the St George’s data repository
  • click ‘Log in’ on the top right of the screen
  • select ‘St George’s, University of London’
  • log in using your institutional credentials.

You are now logged into the repository.

What would you like to do?

Upload and publish data publicly: follow this guide on uploading data.

Link to your data that’s published on another repository or website, or place your files under an embargo: you will need to understand how to upload a file first. Follow this guide on linked and embargoed files.

Upload a confidential file: follow this guide on uploading confidential files.

The file will be uploaded to the repository but it will remain confidential; only the metadata will be openly available, along with details on how to request access to the data. See sensitive data for more information on sharing and providing access to sensitive data.

Create a record of data that you possess, without uploading any files: follow this guide on creating metadata records only.

St George’s data repository is powered by Figshare. You can find answers to more frequently asked questions on Figshare's knowledge portal.

It is advisable to contact the Research Data Management Service if you intend to deposit your data in the repository to avoid any delay in publishing your research.

 

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