1. About our research
  2. Spotlight on research
  3. Research in our departments and centres
  4. Research publications
  5. Research and Enterprise
  6. City's Research Excellence Framework 2014
  7. Research Degrees
  1. Research integrity
  2. Research data management
  3. Publish and share

Publish and share

Publishing and sharing research knowledge and its underpinning data is a fundamental scholarly activity, that helps individual researchers as well as the broader community do better research.

What is open data?

Open data is an enabler of high quality research, a facilitator of innovation and safeguards good research practice. Open data can underpin innovation, for example when researchers with fresh perspectives use data in unexpected ways or when companies use data to help them develop new products. This can lead to substantial economic benefits and help growth. Open research data is considered public good, and City, University of London aims to provide the necessary support to academics so that they can deliver this public good.

What are the benefits of open data?

Publishing open research data have many benefits for various stakeholders. For researchers:

  • it increases the impact of research and possibly the citation rates of publications based on open data;
  • supports the verification and replication of research results by other researchers, thus protecting against any hint of fraud;
  • establishes new links to potential collaborators, students and next generation of researchers;
  • enhances the visibility of research projects.

For the research community:

  • it preserves data for future use;
  • provides important teaching resources;
  • reinforces open scientific inquiry and debate.

For the public:

  • it advances science for the benefit of society;
  • promotes innovation through novel perspectives on research data.

For research funders

  • it maximises return on investment by promoting secondary use of data and avoiding duplication of data collection.

Should I publish all of my research data?

It might be valid to restrict access to data if, for example, you wish/ need to:

  • maintain confidentiality
  • protect participants’ privacy
  • respect consent forms. Participants might have consented to their data being kept or shared for a specific period of time, so it is important to take this under consideration when you use data collected by human participants.
  • maintain exclusive use of the data for an embargo period of time

It might be appropriate however to think whether adopting a graded approach to manage both potential risks and accessibility. In other words, a graded approach could ensure that less sensitive data are made more readily available and access to more sensitive data is more stringently controlled.

Another point to consider when you restrict access to data is the involvement of companies in collaborative research. For instance, if the research involves commercially sensitive data*, a control-management system would determine when and how data should be made openly accessible taking into consideration both openness and commercial incentives.

*Commercially sensitive data may be data given by the company for the purpose of the project. This data may need to be purged when publishing them. All contracts with companies will include confidentiality clauses which need to be observed and taken into consideration from the beginning.

Finally, it is important to mention that all higher education institutions have to comply with the freedom of information legislation and research information. As the UK Head of Policy Delivery at the ICO stated:

'It is important that all higher education institutions comply with their obligations under freedom of information legislation. However, we appreciate the distinctive challenges that requests can pose. This guidance should help institutions to understand when they can apply exemptions to protect important research information.’(ICO website)

Both the guide on freedom of information legislation and key advice, such as proactive disclosure, can be found in the Information Commissioner’s Office website.

Where can I deposit my data?

City is developing an institutional data repository. The primary aim of the service is to support scholars comply with funders’ requirements, and showcase data outputs to the world by making them more discoverable and accessible.

The project is under development at the moment. Please check this page for updates.

In the meantime, you can deposit your data on an external data repository. You should consider Digital Curation Centre’s checklist on how to evaluate data repositories and whether they are suitable for your research.

Where can I store my active data?

City is developing an institutional data repository where you can store your data long-term. As this is currently under development, we suggest the use of OneDrive as the best and safest alternative. Please see more information below:

Office 365 OneDrive

OneDrive is a file-hosting service that is available to all City staff and students as part of their Office 365 Email Service and it can store 1 terabyte of data. You can access it in the following way:

  • log into your City webmail.
  • select the menu button on the left-hand side of your screen
  • double-click on the OneDrive Icon

If you are working on a project with external collaborators, you can share your document through OneDrive. Multiple users can access (and work) on the same document simultaneously. You can share it in the following way:

  • log into your City webmail.
  • select the menu button on the left-hand side of your screen
  • double-click on the OneDrive Icon
  • select - Files - on the left hand side menu
  • select document by clicking the white circle that appears before the file name
  • select – Get Link
  • select – Anyone with this link can edit this item
  • adjust –Permissions- according to your needs (e.g. you might want to make the link available only to specific people)
  • select – OK
  • select – Get a link
  • select – Copy
  • share link with participants

Who is responsible for the records whilst they are active?

Responsibility for the accuracy, completeness and security of research evidence during a project should lie with the principal investigator. Extra care should be taken to ensure the security of research material containing personal data, which is subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998, GDPR and in due course provisions of the Data Protection Bill.