Sharing | Publishing | Getting Started | Restricting Access

Sharing Data

Sharing data can be accomplished simply by sending a file to a colleague, or placing it in an accessible cloud storage drive. There are some cases in which this may be the only viable way to share data, but often a data repository is a better way to go.

Sharing (publishing) data via a repository

Publishing research data entails a more formal process, usually through a repository, which preserves and provides access to a record about the data (the metadata), and the data, or a way to request access to it.

There are many benefits to using a repository:

  • Meets research funder requirements.
  • Establishes your prior work through a public record.
  • Enables discovery of your work, and can increase citation rates of related articles.
  • Can be cited and linked to your publications and by others.
  • Meets publisher/journal requirements.
  • Increases the impact of your research and may yield increased article citations.
  • Enables reproducibility.
  • Speeds the rate of discoveries in your discipline.

Getting Started with Publishing Research Data

  • Determine if the data can be shared through:
    • an open access repository, or
    • one that supports restricted access, or
    • if no restricted access repository can meet your needs, consider how the data could be shared with access controls (such as an embargo, or via a data use agreement)
  • Choose a data repository or data center that is matched to your field of study and and satisfies funder requirements.
  • If access to the data must be restricted, see below.
  • If an appropriate repository does not exist, contact us about other options for sharing data that can still create a record about the data.

Restricting Access

If data cannot be made openly accessible, due to constraints arising from sensitive data concerns, or licensing considerations, several other avenues also enable data sharing.

The UI Division of Sponsored Programs provides support for Data Use Agreements, which are “contractual documents used for the transfer of non-public data that is subject to some restriction on its use.”

Some data centers and repositories may offer services through which access to certain data is restricted, and requires an approved application for access. These options make the metadata available, so others can discover information about the dataset, and cite it later if they use it. Examples of this are restricted access data in ICPSR for social science data, and Vivli for clinical trial data.

Finally, some repositories allow an embargo to be placed on data for a limited amount of time, to preserve and hold the data while a publication is in review. Embargoes are usually for a limited amount of time, between 1 and 2 years, after which the data is publicly available.

Would you like to learn more about sharing and publishing data? Request a workshop on Data Sharing and Publication here.

For assistance with publishing your data, pleas contact us at