Ongoing gives an overview of sharing and re-using your research data once your project is completed.

  • Before you start covers grant applications, the UQ Research Data Manager and ethics for research data management
  • During research looks at what you need to do to store and secure your research data during your project

1. Sharing research data

UQ researchers work in a collaborative environment and often need to share research data. Data may be shared within a research group or project, or externally to collaborators from other institutions.

Sources of research data

Many organisations publish their research data for others to use. The Research data guide lists sources of published research data from government websites, data catalogues, institutional repositories and more.

Can I share my research data?

When you want to share your research data you should consider whether you have:

  • the authority to share it - are there terms and conditions applying to the use of the data?
  • ethical obligations that restrict whether or how you can share the data.

Some research data should not be shared. For example commercial or IP related data, human identifiable data and others. If you are not sure if you can share your data contact your Research Partnership Manager.

Make your research data available for re-use

Funding agencies are encouraging access to research datasets that can be reused to:

  • improve accountability and integrity of research
  • validate research findings
  • reduce the cost of duplication 
  • encourage new collaborations.

Sharing research data can lead to an enhanced research profile and potential new collaborations.

Your grant application should include statements on how you plan to make your project's data available for reuse and could include:

  • how and where you will make your project's data available for reuse
  • metadata collection, for users to understand the data
  • addressing barriers to sharing, and how you will overcome them
  • licensing of the datasets for reuse
  • details of ethical considerations users need to be aware of
  • citation and attribution of your project's datasets by users.

Scholarly communications and research data

Scholarly communications is no longer restricted to traditional publications but includes all research outputs such as data, software, code, and algorithms. Research data is a valuable research output and can be published and cited.

Best practice for publishing research data includes:

  • managing your project's data throughout the research lifecycle to allow for long term preservation, discovery and open access
  • ensuring research data is retrievable and accessible through the use of identifiers e.g. Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs)
  • appropriate selection and use of open access data repositories and publications
  • selecting the best licences for your work to facilitate sharing, acknowledgement and attribution.

Journals may ask for a 'data availability statement' along with the manuscript. Statements that data will be made available on request are no longer acceptable, and authors should provide details of how the data can be accessed (via DOI) and where it is preserved (repository).

FAIR Data Principles has more information on best practice for research data.  Both ARC and NHMRC policies refer to and support the FAIR principles, that is, that research data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-usable.

Access levels

You can apply different levels of access when sharing your research data. Check if you have any obligations to make your data Open or Mediated Access. Try to make your data as open as possible.

Open Access

Research data is considered to be Open Access if is publicly available for access, use, reuse and redistribution.

Mediated Access

Research data with Mediated Access requires the researcher to approve access to the data first before use by another researcher. It allows the data to be accessed and used correctly, and in accordance with ethics requirements or other contextual conditions. Visit Request access to data for advice on agreements for sharing and accessing research data.

Closed Access

Closed data is not suitable for sharing.  If a dataset is not to be shared or reused it should be archived in an appropriate facility rather than published.  Consider what you may be able to publish before deciding on closed access. Even sensitive data can be shared with the right treatment.

Licensing your project's data

To effectively share and re-use research data, there must be clarity of reuse permissions, terms, and conditions. A license grants permissions around usage of your project's data, and stipulates what can and can't be done with that data. By being explicit, with clear licensing, you remove a potential barrier to reuse of your project's research data. Learn more about copyright for research data.

Licensing options for UQ researchers

UQ eSpace

The University of Queensland provides standard licence agreements for researchers publishing datasets in UQ eSpace.The licence agreement ensures downloads and reuse of data is properly acknowledged and attributed.​

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons provides a range of licences from very open to quite restrictive. You may need to consider which licence to choose if you are publishing your project's data in an international repository that relies on Creative Commons Licences. Learn more about Creative Commons licences.