Publish, share and cite your data

[Benefits of sharing] [Where to share] [Pre-deposit checklist] [Publishers and citation]

What are the benefits of sharing my research data?

There are benefits to you and your research group, your disciplinary community, and the general public.

  • Enhances your research profile – being transparent with evidence underpinning your research.
  • Increases citations – making data publicly available improves exposure of your research and encourages reuse.
  • Long term preservation of your data: Ensuring that your data is easily located, stored, and preserved for future applications.
  • Meets funder and publisher mandates and requirements around the open research agenda.

[Benefits of sharing] [Where to share] [Pre-deposit checklist] [Publishers and citation]

Where can I share/publish my research data?

There are different ways to share/publish your research data and the option you take may be dependent on:

  • The standard practice within your subject discipline, e.g. ADS Archaeology Data Service, University of York as an example of discipline specific archive.
  • Re3Data (global registry of research data repositories covering different academic disciplines)
  • a searchable resource of data standards, databases, and policies in the life, environmental and biomedical sciences
  • The funder expectations, e.g. NERC supports five data centres covering a range of discipline areas, ESRC funds end expects researchers to deposit data at The UK Data Service.

For research outputs that don’t fit into funder or discipline specific archives the University of Leicester provide a Figshare-powered data repository. The repository is available at:, all UoL research-active staff members and PhD students are authenticated to use this service. Benefits in using our data repository, includes:

  • Data deposit creates a permanent record, a persistent identifier (DOI), and a suggested citation, so that your work can be formally attributed when re-analysed by others.
  • Your data will be discoverable through Google and other search engines to maximise visibility and impact. We can provide you with usage statistics so you know when your data has been downloaded.
  • No maintenance required of your own website to archive and share your data; once deposited, management of your data is assured by the Library Research Services team.

For information and guidelines on how to upload the data and what are the steps to consider before making the data deposit, please refer to our user guide: and visit Figshare.

[Benefits of sharing] [Where to share] [Pre-deposit checklist] [Publishers and citation]

Research Data pre-deposit checklist

Before depositing your final dataset, please consider carefully the following steps:

  • Step 1. Check funder policies and requirements

The funder of your research might have specific requirements for post-project data discoverability, accessibility, and preservation. Review the Data Management Plan for your project, which should guide you through the process of preparing the final dataset.

  • Step 2. Prepare and structure your data

Data structure – use an appropriate folder structure to ensure the data is in meaningful units. Apply consistent and logical naming convention throughout the dataset.

File formats – carefully consider what’s the most suitable format for future reuse of your data. Use open file formats wherever possible. The ‘Recommended Format’ guide from the UK Data Service provides useful information on the suitability of file formats for different research data types.

  • Step 3. Document and describe your data

Include comprehensive metadata for your files – this can be embedded in the file or alternatively stored in separate ‘Read me’ text file in each folder.

Adhere to established metadata standards such as subject/discipline specific metadata, more detailed information can be found at: Digital Curation Centre, UK Data Service.

  • Step 4. Rights and permissions

Permissions – you must obtain permissions from all right holders to make data accessible.

  • If your research involves human participants you must ensure they expressed informed consent.
  • Personal/sensitive data should be anonymised before archiving and making the data available.

Licensing for data reuse – there is a number of available options of copyright licences that dictate how your data can be used by others. Full list of licences is available at:

  • Step 5. Choose an appropriate data repository

If unsure about the most appropriate repository for your discipline please consult with:

[Benefits of sharing] [Where to share] [Pre-deposit checklist] [Publishers and citation]

Publishers and research data citation

Increasingly publishers require that the data on which a publication is based is made available by the author. By depositing your data outputs in a trusted repository you can meet all future requests by researchers wanting a copy of your data.

See the different type of research data policies for the SpringerNature portfolio of journals.

The mechanisms allowing attribution and credit for research outputs also applies to research data. Data citation allows the impact of the data to be assessed and provides the information required to locate/discover and access (where feasible) the research data, for reuse and verification. Published data referred to or reused in any way in your research, needs to be cited correctly.

See an example of the citation options for a Figshare data deposit in the UoL data repository

A dataset citation should include:

  • Author
  • Publication date
  • Title
  • Edition &/or Version
  • Publisher
  • Resource type
  • Persistent Identifier - such as a DOI
  • Location – a persistent URL where the dataset may be accessed

For more information, see the DCC guide ‘How to cite datasets and link to publications’, ‘Why cite data?’ from Datacite, ‘Cite the Data’ from the UK Data Service, and the IASSIST ‘Quick guide to data citation’.

[Benefits of sharing] [Where to share] [Pre-deposit checklist] [Publishers and citation]

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