Sharing research data encourages more connection and collaboration between researchers, which can result in important new findings. It also makes it easier for other researchers to replicate your findings and explore new paths of knowledge.
The sharing of research data is fast becoming the norm, and is often mandated. 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;
Increases returns from public investment;
Reduces redundant research.
When preparing data for sharing, researchers should consider the legal and ethical issues involved in sharing, especially where human subjects and personal subject information is involved (e.g. the POPI Act). These issues are dealt with extensively under Research Ethics Policies of the University.
Researchers can use any repository to store and publish their research data, although UWC’s institutional research data repository, Kikapu, is the preferred platform.
Zenodo is another Open Access general purpose repository with an active UWC Zenodo community.
UWC Library Services manages three institutional repositories in total, collectively known as UWC Scholar. They are the UWC Electronic Theses and Dissertations Repository (ETD); the UWC Research Repository (for all UWC-authored publications) and UWC’s Research Data Repository Kikapu.