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Sharing your data and finding the data of others

Many research funders now encourage, or require, their award holders to share their data. Sharing your data can be highly beneficial, it:

  • Enables your data to be used in new, and possibly unexpected, ways
  • Allows other researchers to cite your data so you gain credit
  • Can lead to new collaborations with users of your data
  • Avoids unnecessary and potentially costly re-collection of existing data
  • Encourages research by providing a new resource for the academic community

There are a number of Data Services available where you can deposit your data and share it with the academic community. You can also use these Data Services in turn to find, identify and cite research datasets in your own work.


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Guides and information on sharing your data

If your dataset includes personal information about living individuals you will need to ensure that your sharing complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Act. Check whether participants were made aware before they participated in your project (via your participant information sheet or consent form, where relevant) that they may be identifiable in your dataset and that they were informed that you were going to be sharing your dataset.

By fully anonymising your dataset (so that individuals cannot be identified even if your dataset is combined with other information in the public domain) you can remove the dataset from the requirements of the Data Protection Act. For guidance on anonymisation, see the Information Commissioner's Office's Anonymisation Code of Practice.

The DCC has produced a series of Briefing and Legal Watch papers, that provide an introduction to RDIM topics including Creative Commons Licensing (2006), Data Citation and Linking (2012), Digital Repositories (2006) and Sharing Medical Data (2006).

'How-to' Guides are also available which provide a working knowledge of RDIM topics aimed at people in research, topics include How to Cite Datasets and Link to Publications (2012), and How to License Research Data (2012).

Step-by-step guides to help you share your data are available from the UK Data Service. Topics include planning to share, legal and ethical matters and copyright.

The Archaeology Data Service has some Guides to Good Practice on topics including Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights.

A Briefing Paper and FAQs on Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests and research data are available from the DCC.

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Guides and information on finding the data of others

Guides to help you find and use data from others are available from the UK Data Service.

Discover is a searchable Catalogue of Social Science and Humanities data from the UK Data Archive and UK Data Service.

Dryad is a nonprofit organization and an international repository of data underlying scientific and medical publications with an initial focus on evolution, ecology and related fields.

The UK Data Service provides access to over 6000 digital data collections for research and teaching purposes.


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Data Services

Archaeology Data Service (ADS)

UK Data Archive - Research data in the social sciences and humanities

UK Data Service - Social and economic research data

DataCite - brings together the datasets community to address making research data visible and supports researchers by helping them to find, identify and cite research datasets.


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Sharing your research outputs

To increase the impact of your research and access to your output, the Research Governance Framework for Cardiff University requires you to deposit bibliographic references of your research outputs in the University's Online Research @ Cardiff repository (ORCA). Where publishers' copyright agreements allow, these references should be accompanied by electronic copies of research outputs as close as possible to the final published version. Further help with using ORCA is available from the Information Services Repository Team: email