More and more research funding agencies around the world are requiring research data to be made openly available. For example, Research Councils UK advocates that “Publicly funded research data are a public good, produced in the public interest, which should be made openly available with as few restrictions as possible in a timely and responsible manner.”
In Singapore, the 2016 Social Science Research Thematic Grant call by Ministry of Education has included the following open data sharing requirement: "8.1 Subject to restrictions related to research ethics, confidentiality and intellectual property, all data generated from research funded by the Thematic Grant should be made available to user communities at the earliest feasible opportunity. This would generally be no later than the release through publication of the study’s main findings, or in line with established best practices in the respective fields."
The National Medical Research Council (NMRC) of the Ministry of Health in Singapore requires research data sharing for projects with funding of $250,000 and above from November 2015 onwards.
In Nanyang Technological University, the NTU Research Data Policy (launched on 14 Apr 2016) requires open access research data sharing unless there is any agreement with external parties that prevent so.
Benefits of sharing data:
(Source: UK Data Service)
Does it help my citation count?
There is no lack of literature that tells us about the positive correlation between publicly available research data and increased literature impact. For example, based on a study done on 85 cancer microarray clinical trial publications, publicly available data was significantly associated with a 69% increase in citations, independently of journal impact factor, date of publication, and author country of origin using linear regression (Piwowar, Day & Fridsma, 2007). In another study, it was found that data made available in a public repository received 9% more citations than similar studies for which the data was not made available (Piwowar & Vision, 2013).
Research data has to be as open as possible and as closed as necessary.
The best practice for open research data would be to follow the FAIR data standard.
FAIR stands for:
The best way to make your data FAIR is to make use of a data repository that is FAIR-aligned and complies with international data repository standards such as CoreTrustSeal (CTS). DR-NTU (Data) is CTS certified in 2022.
How FAIR is your data? Check out these self-assessment tools:
There are some legitimate reasons for not sharing your data publicly:
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