The sharing of research data has become mandatory. In addition to funding agencies and journals, in 2015, the NRF released a Statement on Open Access, asserting that the results of publicly funded research should be published as Open Access. Moreover, the data supporting the research should be made available in an accredited Open Access data repository with the provision of DOIs for citation purposes
BENEFITS OF SHARING RESEARCH DATA
The benefits of data sharing to individual researchers and the research community are manifold:
- It promotes transparency;
- It promotes new discoveries;
- Increases research impact and citation rates;
- Supports validation and replication;
- Enhances collaboration;
- Increases returns from public investment;
- Reduces redundant research.
When preparing their data for sharing, researchers should consider the legal and ethical issues involved in sharing (e.g. do they have consent to share participant data?). These issues are dealt with extensively under Research Ethics Policies of the University.
Researchers should also consider the potential for reusability of their data, as well as whether outsiders will be able to understand the data.