Funding bodies are increasingly demanding that data generated by projects be published as ‘open’ or under specific conditions. In addition, some publishers make the publication of an article conditional on the data on which the article is based being made available for consultation by others.
Sharing your data with others can:
- increase the transparency of your research
- accelerate scientific discovery by enabling new (types of) research
- enhance the visibility and impact of your research
- create new opportunities for collaboration and broadening your network
- prove the opportunity for replication of your research
Even if it is not required, the Amsterdam UMC would like to promote the open sharing of data, unless prohibited by intellectual or commercial interests.
The Amsterdam UMC uses Figshare for the secure storage, controlled sharing and publication of research data. Click here for additional information. This topic is also discussed in the SOP for Research Data Management (Phase 5: Archiving & open data).
Any questions may be directed to the Research Data Management helpdesk.
Describe your data with metadata
To make sure that others understand what your research project is about and what (type of) data your dataset contains, it is important to add metadata (data about your data) to your data. There are many standards that help you to structure the metadata (examples). If you aim to publish your data in a data repository, check what the standard of the respective repository is. There are multiple levels of metadata: metadata for the overall research project (how, what, why, by whom data is collected) and metadata to describe the actual contents of your dataset (data dictionary).
Also consult: https://libguides.vu.nl/rdm/metadata
Define access conditions
If you aim to share your data, you should also define the conditions under which others can use your data. The principle of “as open as possible, as closed as necessary” applies here. Your data should be “as open as possible” to allow others to reuse your data and to accelerate (other) research, but at the same time, your data should be “as closed as necessary” to safeguard the privacy of the subjects in your research.
There are three main access conditions:
- Open: everyone has access to the data
- Restricted: special conditions apply, if the conditions are met, external users can access the data
- Closed: externals users do not have access to the data
You can also decide to combine the access conditions, by, for example, making a specific part of your data open, and another part closed.
Share data upon request
If a third party requests access to your data and you have not published your data in a data repository, you should make a data transfer agreement. The agreement must be signed by a mandated person (someone who is authorised by the board to sign agreements for the organisation) from both parties. The agreement should contain statements about the terms and conditions under which data are made available. For advise contact RDM and Legal counsel (LRS and IXA).
License your data
If you want to publish your research data in a data repository, you have to choose a licence for your data. The most common licenses are Creative Common Licenses. You can use their online Chooser application to determine which license is appropriate for your data.