Open Access to research data
Many research funders now advocate 'Open Access' to research outputs and have Open Access policies. This may or may not include research data. Researchers are encouraged to deposit copies of final research outputs with 'metadata' (information that describes the deposited items) into a publicly accessible or 'open access' repository.
To find out whether you need to archive your data alongside research outputs in an Open Access Repository, check your funder terms and conditions, or use the Sherpa JULIET service, provided by the University of Nottingham (guidance on whether to archive, what to archive and when to archive). Alternatively, contact Research Services with queries - firstname.lastname@example.org .
Self-Archiving your data
Depositing your data in an open access repository, or 'self-archiving', maximizes the visibility and accessibility of your research, and hence the usage and impact of your work. It does not replace publication. For example, the ESRC Data Store (for ESRC-funded researchers to store their data) is a self-archiving system hosted by the UK Data Archive.
Data will need to be prepared before deposit, which may involve:
- anonymising data
- checking whether you have permission to share research data - this may depend on consent and confidentiality agreements
- checking whether copyright permission needs to be sought with regards data ownership
- ensuring that data files are well documented and described so that users can understand and interpret them
For more information on 'preparing your data for archive', please see the Documentation and Organisation pages, or the UK Data Archive's pages on creating and managing data - covering formats, storage, consent, access conditions and copyright.
What about copyright issues?
There may be copyright restrictions in making an article freely available. The University of Nottingham's Sherpa RoMEO service lists publishers and their associated copyright agreements. Use the RoMEO service to search for a publisher, or a particular journal, to see what rights are assigned to publishers and which are retained by the author.
Comprehensive lists of Open Access Repositories:
• ROAR – Registry of Open Access Repositories - http://roar.eprints.org/
• http://oad.simmons.edu/oadwiki/Data_repositories - a list of subject repositories for sharing data and long-term preservation