UCL Library Services


Sharing data

Sharing data

Research data frequently remains valuable after the life of the research project for which it was generated. Sharing data can open up new avenues of research and enquiry without researchers having to recreate and collect identical data.  Due to this, and other factors, research funders are increasingly requiring researchers to share their data. 

Researchers should plan how and when to share their data (if it can be shared), whether there are reasons it can not be shared, and how to ensure that other researchers will be able to make correct use of it.

Why share?

There are many motivations to share research data. Many funders view them as a public good that should be shared with the academic community and beyond. 

Benefits of sharing research data

It is not always possible to share data, or you may wish to restrict access for some of the following reasons:


Handling copyright, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and licences issues

Background information is available to help you understand better copyright, IPR and licences. UCL copyright blog gathers answers to a large range of questions related to these issues.

UCL IPR Policies
Copyright and data
Licencing your data

Sharing Data: when & where?

In order to reap the benefits of sharing data, it needs to be available in an appropriate place. Your funder may have some expectations about where your data is stored, how open it should be and the timescale in which it should be made available. Please refer to the guidance information on funders' policies

You have the choice between different options to deposit your data:

In a UCL repository
In a funder-sponsored data centre
In an external open access data repository
Deposit with a journal
Informal sharing

How to share data

Anticipating legal, ethical and commercial constraints to release data
Anonymising data
Describing your data to make them discoverable: metadata, documentation & DOIs

Citing data

Linking your data to your publications
Citing data that you are re-using