Data Services: Data Sharing & Reuse

This guide provides information on managing data and obtaining secondary data for research.

Tools for Data Sharing

By assigning a Persistent Identifier (PID) to your data sets, they become easily locatable and citable scholarly resources. You can assign a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) or an Archival Resource Key (ARK). The UTK Libraries can assist you with selecting the proper PID and obtaining the PID for your data sets.

Where do I share data?

You have many options for sharing your data. The UTK Libraries suggests you place data sets in a suitable, domain-specific data repository. Libraries staff can assist you in identifying the best one and guide you in preparing your data set for sharing. Please place a record of the data set in Trace with basic information on the data so it can be associated with UTK.

Sharing Data from the Data Archiving and Networked Services

Reasons to Share Data

The University of Tennessee's Research Data Policy states that "[t]he University promotes the prompt and open exchange of Research Data with scientific colleagues outside the investigator's immediate laboratory or department, subject to relevant grants, contracts, other agreements, or applicable law."

Would anyone other than you want to use your research data? Yes they would! If it's worth analyzing, it's worth sharing. Here are some possible reasons you might want to share your data:

Improved data quality and reliability. Well documented data in open, preservation-friendly file formats reduces the tendency for errors, which improves your research and data quality.

New research from existing data. Even after articles have been published from a set of data, other researchers can use it in their projects to advance the field of research even further by finding new conclusions in existing data or combining many existing data sets into one larger one.

More data available for research. When researchers share their data with other reseachers, there is more data available for better quality research. By putting your data out there for others to use, you are saving others time and money by not having to collect data that has already been collected.

Ability to reproduce research results. When researchers share their data with other researchers, they have the ability to reproduce research results, helping to verfiy findings.

Use of data in teaching. Having data available for teaching increases the effectiveness of learning over simply explaining and demonstrating processes. Students can access real data and conduct research and calculations of their own.

Compliance with legal requirements. Funding agencies have begun to require that data from projects they funded be shared. Meeting these requirements take some planning from the beginning of the project.

Nine Simple Ways to Make it Easier to Reuse Your Data

Excerpted from the report "Nine simple ways to make it easier to (re)use your data" by Ethan White, Elita Baldridge, Zachary Brym, Kenneth Lacy, Daniel McGlinn, and Sarah Supp, which can be found at this link. Click to read explanations of each.

1. Share your data

2. Provide metadata

3. Provide an unprocessed form of the data

4. Use standard formats

5. Use good null values

6. Make it easier to combine your data with other datasets

7. Perform basic quality control

8. Use an established repository

9. Use an established and open license