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  1. Research integrity
  2. Research data management
  3. Publish data on Figshare

Publish data on Figshare

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.

Publishing research data on Figshare

Figshare provides City’s institutional research repository for digital outputs. The primary aim of the service is to showcase research outputs to the world by making them more discoverable and accessible.

Publishing your research outputs on Figshare will give you credit for all your research and increase the visibility and impact of your research.

You can access the system at and log in with your City email and password.

You can also find further info on all the features of Figshare in the user guide (you will be directed away from City's website) or you can visit Fighsare’s YouTube channel.

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?

You can restrict access to data on Figshare 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 into 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 destroyed 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.