Sharing research data
Many major research funders and academic publishers call for research data to be shared, and for access to be published in the form of a 'data access statement'.
For example, RCUK-funded researchers are expected to make research data 'available by default', while the NHS ethical clearance process encourages researchers to 'identify whether samples or data can be contributed to an existing biobank or data-sharing repository'.
Researchers should no longer use 'please contact the author' to share research data. This is because when contact details change, access to data often becomes impossible. Instead, the University of Bristol provides the data.bris Research Data Repository for the publication of research data. The repository can be used to either publish data openly or with access restrictions. For details see the repository Depositing Guide.
Data access statements
The type of a 'data access statement' you add to your papers will vary depending on how you decide to share data and any restrictions you put in place. The Research Data Service has produced examples from different disciplines:
- Data access statements for arts and social sciences (PDF, 396 kB)
- Data access statements for biomedicine and health science (PDF, 487 kB)
- Data access statements for science and engineering (PDF, 513 kB)
To help you create your own data access statements we have developed an interactive tool:
The tool is also available as a LaTeX package.
Research with commercial applications
To help you balance data sharing and commercially exploiting your research, we've created the following online tutorial: