The events of recent years have highlighted the potential for research in all fields to positively impact the world we live in. We’ve seen its power to tackle the biggest challenges facing humanity.
However, there’s also plenty of unnoticed research which could have a far greater impact than it does. Increasingly the scholarly community is recognizing the key role for research data sharing in helping achieve that goal of real-world impact.
The potential of data sharing
When a researcher shares their data, it’s then possible for fellow researchers, policy makers, and practitioners to question, share, replicate, validate, and confirm the evidence which supports their conclusions. When that research data is also made available for reuse under an open license others are then able to build upon the work that’s already been done.
A great example of the power of data sharing is the human genome project. The sequencing of the human genome was a massive undertaking, by many researchers across the world. The results of their efforts have greatly advanced many areas of research and healthcare over the past decade and a half, but none of that would have been possible if the genomic sequences had not been widely available.
Imagine if every time you wanted to align a DNA sequence or generate PCR primers you had to ask for permission, or worse, pay for use of the information. Instead, anyone can freely download human genomic data, use them without asking for explicit permission, re-analyse and interpret them, and use them for anything from art projects to teaching to data mining to including versions of them in their own work.
This demonstrates how data sharing and open data can speed up the pace of research, increase discoverability, whilst also providing recognition for authors.
How sharing your data benefits you, your research, and society
By choosing to share your data, you increase the reproducibility and transparency of your work for fellow researchers, as well as wider society. This results in a wide range of benefits:
- Other researchers can build upon your research and validate your results. This in turn boosts the credibility and robustness of your research, furthering your career. According to a 2019 study, research papers with associated open data can generate up to 25% more citations.
- It’s easier for others to reproduce your work because the underlying data is made available to them. This also enhances the visibility of your work and provides opportunities for collaboration.
- It improves research integrity since there is greater transparency in the research process.
- It accelerates the pace of research and streamlines the research workflow.
- It helps secure research grants by complying with funder and institution data policies as they are increasingly supporting open research practices.
- It helps increase public trust in science and supports the wider research agenda.
- It improves the public’s understanding of research together with the value it provides, and ultimately, open data enables better real-world impact from academic research.
How Taylor & Francis is helping you to share your data
We believe that research data shouldn’t be transferred to an old hard drive or filed away in a locked drawer. That’s because data sharing has huge potential to accelerate research by making outputs more transparent and reproducible, and reducing waste.
Taylor & Francis and F1000 are therefore committed to working with researchers and our publishing partners to ensure as much research data as possible can be shared in a FAIR and responsible way, whilst upholding the highest ethical principles. That’s why we are pioneering new approaches to data sharing and open data:
Data sharing policies
The Taylor & Francis journals portfolio has a framework of five data sharing policies, which allows each journal to select a policy that best fits with the community’s needs. Over 2,000 Taylor & Francis and Routledge journals now have a data policy. Before submitting to a journal, check the Instructions for Authors to find out which policy you need to follow.
F1000Research, our open research publishing platform, has had an open and FAIR data policy since 2013: the industry’s first. This requires you to make all data underlying your article openly available from the moment your article is published.
We’ve also recently become the first publisher to introduce a data sharing policy across our books program. This encourages the authors of all new Routledge and CRC Press books and chapters to openly share their data.
As well as linking your data to your research article, there is an increasing range of options for publishing data notes. These peer reviewed short articles provide further information on how the data was collected, analyzed, validated and conditions of use. By linking together the research article, data, and data note, you can increase the routes into your research and further promote the data you have worked so hard to collect and prepare for sharing.
Open data badges
Developed by the Center for Open Science, open science badges are available on a number of our journals. These reward authors for contributing to scientific transparency and their efforts to make their research more open, including by choosing open data. Find out if your chosen journal offers open science badges.
A collective effort
We are keen to share good open research practices and explore new ways of working collaboratively with all stakeholders.
This year we are participating in a number of industry events and leading discussions on key topics around research data. To date in 2021 this has included a lightning talk at UKSG on how we enable FAIR Data in the Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences; an Ethics Clinic session on data sharing at Council of Science Editors and contributing to ongoing discussions at Research Data Alliance events.
Support for researchers in the humanities and social sciences
Discussions around data sharing may have started in the sciences but are relevant to all subject areas. Increasingly, resources are being made available for specific communities such as this guide for managing social sciences data.
It is, however, important to recognize that whilst researchers in the social sciences can adopt many of the procedures and motivations for sharing data from science areas, the picture is different within the humanities. Research is conducted differently, and the topic needs to be discussed in different terms and potentially with different language to resonate and motivate researchers to share.
To tackle this issue, F1000 and Taylor & Francis are involved in this STM working group along with other publishers to work towards a better solution to help humanities researchers.