Skip to Main Content
Researcher Skills Toolkit

Share and publish

Share and publish

Open research data is: 

  • Freely available to download in a reusable form. Large or complex data may be accessible via a service or facility that enables access in-situ, or via the compilation of sub-sets 
  • Licensed with minimal restrictions to reuse 
  • Well described with provenance and reuse information provided, including copyright and licensing information 
  • Available in convenient, modifiable, and open formats 
  • Managed by archives or repositories on an ongoing basis.
  • Can save researchers time and money by reducing duplication of effort
  • Allows other researchers to replicate, validate and build upon research
  • Also encourages the improvement and validation of research methods
  • Data sharing can encourage greater connection and collaboration between researchers
  • Can lead to researchers sharing resources, acquiring more data, and producing new results
  • In a time of reduced monetary investment, data sharing is an efficient use of resources and allows researchers to build upon the work of others rather than replicating already existing research
  • Reuse of data created for one research project in another can promote innovation and unexpected research discoveries
  • Other researchers who reuse and cite your data can assist to increase the impact and citation of research publications
  • Enables research sponsors to promote and inspire research within a field
  • Many funding agencies either require or mandate the sharing of research data
  • Some journals may require data to be publicly available
In this video University of Newcastle researchers discuss 'why' and 'how' of sharing or publishing their research data.




More information The #dataimpact eBook includes 16 case studies about the real-life impact of Australian research data.


A researcher may choose to remain the gatekeeper, and all requests to access the data may be directed to a nominated contact.  Access methods may include sending the data directly to the requesting researcher or providing a login to download the data from a secure site. 

Sharing data does not necessarily mean making data openly and publicly available, although this is something that many researchers choose to do and may also be a funding requirement. When choosing to share data, researchers can determine access conditions and to set a desired level of access to their datasets.

Level of access Description
Open access
  • Licensed with minimal restrictions on use
  • Well- described with attribution and reuse information provided
  • Available in convenient, modifiable, and open formats
  • Managed by a repository on an ongoing basis
Mediated access
  • A researcher may choose to remain the gatekeeper, and all requests to access the data may be directed to a nominated contact
  • Access methods may include sending the data directly to the requesting researcher or providing a login to download the data from a secure site
Closed access
  • Restrictions may be necessary to protect sensitive data, or access may be restricted to researchers within a specific discipline

Research data can be shared via several paths:

Type of directory


Institutional repositories

 Examples of deposited data include: 

Contact for deposit:  

Data directories
  • Registry of research data repositories - browse by subject, content type (eg. images, raw data, source code), or country
  • Research Data Australia. Find, access and re-use data from over 100 Australian research organisaitons, government agencies and cultural institutions
Data portals
Data journals

Check the CHORUS website for a centralized index of publishers’ policies with links to each publisher’s site.  

  • Scientific Data – published by Nature. Peer-reviewed, open-access journal for descriptions of datasets, and research that advances the sharing and reuse of scientific data from all areas of natural sciences, medicine, engineering, and social sciences.
  • Data – published by MDPI. Peer-reviewed and open access. Publishes in two sections: one on the collection, treatment, and analysis methods of data in science; the other publishing descriptions of scientific and scholarly datasets (one dataset per paper).
  • Data in Brief – published by Elsevier. Multidisciplinary, open access, peer-reviewed journal, which publishes short, digestible articles that describe and provide access to research data.
  • Research Data Journal for the Humanities and Social Sciences - is a peer-reviewed journal designed to comprehensively document and publish deposited datasets in humanities and social sciences.

Sensitive data is defined as "data that can be used to identify an individual, species, object, or location that introduces a risk of discrimination, harm, or unwanted attention. Under law and the research ethics governance of most institutions, sensitive data cannot typically be shared in this form, with few exceptions." (Sensitive data, ARDC, 2022)

Sensitive data can relate to:

  • Humans - for example, racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, memberships of societies and unions, religious or philosophical beliefs, sexual orientation, criminal record, health, genetic or biometric information
  • Non-human - for example, sensitive environmental of diversity data such as rare, endangered or commercially viable species.

However, it is possible to share sensitive data. The Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) provides advice on sharing sensitive data.

University of Newcastle

The Research Data and Primary Materials Management Procedure (Section 5, 22-23) includes the following advice on sharing research data: 

  • Research data and primary materials should be made available for re-use by other researchers unless precluded by privacy, safety and/or confidentiality requirements. Preclusions include formal confidentiality agreements, where research is focused on developing protectable intellectual property, or existing agreements or protocols approved by a properly constituted human or animal ethics committee. Researchers interested in re-using research data or primary materials should consult the owner of the data or materials, or the owner’s supervisor or Head of School should the owner not be available. 

  • Access or re-use of data or information used in or generated by research involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities will be subject to consultation with those peoples and communities prior to access or re-use. 


Australian funding agencies have guidelines and requirements relating to research data management. These guidelines address data in terms of: 

  • data management plans and planning, 

  • data dissemination and sharing, 

  • data access and reuse 

  • long term data storage. 

Underpinning these requirements are the data guidelines as set out in the Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research

Copyright and ownership are important considerations when undertaking research and authoring research outputs. Materials created or owned by third- parties will require permission for reproduction or other reuse before they can published. 

For information on copyright and how it applies to your data, please see the Library’s Copyright for Staff page. For advice and support on seeking written permissions to reproduce material, please contact the Copyright Advisor

Applying a licence to research data will help other researchers to understand how they can reuse your data and what (if any) restrictions have been placed on it. 

Open licences provide a simple way for authors to share their work with others within copyright. The licences provide permissions for users to reuse, remix and share the content legally. 


In this video University of Newcastle Library staff discuss open licensing and considerations around Creative Commons (CC) licensing.


A digital object identifier (DOI) is a persistent location identifier for a specific output such as a dataset. The DOI is made up of a string of numbers, letters, and symbols, which identify the output and provide a permanent link to its location. DOIs assist in making data outputs more findable and citable. Assigning a DOI also provides the ability for the data to be tracked by metrics systems, such as Altmetric Explorer.

The Library provides a DOI minting service for: 

  • research datasets and collections, associated workflows, software, and models 

  • theses, reports, unpublished conference papers, newsletters, creative works, technical standards, and specifications for which the institutional repository is the primary publication point. 

There is no charge for this service. This service is not available for peer- reviewed journal articles, ephemera, book chapters, or teaching and learning material. 

Email to request a DOI or for further information. 

The FAIR Guiding Principles for Scientific Data Management and Stewardship provide guidelines to improve the Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, and Reuse of data. 

The first step in (re)using data is to find them. Metadata and data should be easy to find for both humans and computers. Machine-readable metadata are essential for automatic discovery of datasets and services, so this is an essential component of the

FAIRification Process.

Steps to make your data findable

  1. Describe your research data to maximise discovery
  2. Give your research data a unique identifier.

Once the user finds the required data, they need to know how they can be accessed, possibly including authentication and authorisation.

Steps to make your data accessible

  1. Register your research online
  2. Define access rules, protocols and requesting.

The data usually need to be integrated with other data. In addition, the data need to interoperate with applications or workflows for analysis, storage, and processing.

Steps to make your data interoperable

  • Use open, unencrypted, uncompressed forms
  • Adopt common metadata schema and data descriptions standards.

The ultimate goal of FAIR is to optimise the reuse of data. To achieve this, metadata and data should be well-described so that they can be replicated and/or combined in different settings.

Steps to make your data reusable

  1. Apply a licence and explain how your data can be reused
  2. Obtain participant consent.
Previous Page   Next Page