Data sharing is mandated by many a growing number of funding agencies, foundations, and journals. There are many benefits of data sharing to individual researchers and the research community.
Researchers should consider the legal and ethical issues involved in sharing (e.g. do they have consent to share participant data?). Please see more under Research Ethics - Publishing & Sharing Sensitive Data
They should also consider the potential for reusability of their data, as well as whether outsiders will be able to understand the data. There are some potential drawbacks to sharing. Ensuring data is fit to share may be time-intensive. Others could misuse or misrepresent a dataset. Data released in the middle of a project may not have undergone sufficient quality assurance. There may be an overlap of publications if data are released during or immediately following a research project.
For researchers, there are a number of ways for sharing datasets beyond their own research teams.1
Early in a project, researchers should determine whether there are any institutional, funder, or legal restrictions that would prevent or place conditions on the sharing of their data. For example, in order to share some types of data, you may be required to develop a Data Use Agreement that is signed by the Unisa Research Office.
See examples of Data Use Agreements (DUA) should you need more information on this possible requirement.
1. Cornell University's Research Data Management Service Group's page on "Sharing Data" was a useful resource in developing this list of options for sharing.
The RDA vision is for researchers and innovators to openly sharing data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society.
For more information access https://rd-alliance.org/about-rda
Data creators may have to format, describe, clean, and de-identify their data to ensure that other researchers will find the datasets useful and understandable and in order to protect, if applicable, the privacy of human subjects.
The UK Data Archive offers guidance on "Preparing data for deposit" that is a good starting point for researchers who are sharing their data with other researchers and who are publishing their data through deposit in a data repository. Researchers should follow any instructions that journal publishers and repositories provide on readying their data for deposit.
The Unisa Library's Institutional Repository - UnisaIR is an open digital archive of scholarly intellectual and research outputs of the University of South Africa. The UnisaIR contains and preserves theses and dissertations, research articles, conference papers, rare and special materials and many other digital assets.
Most personal names are not unique, can potentially change, and may be ordered differently depending on culture. This makes identifying and linking scientific and academic authors to their contributions (both publications and research data) difficult. There are several resources available to allow researchers to uniquely identify themselves electronically: