figshare help

How can Figshare help my research?

Sharing research data on Figshare can help promote your research and raise your profile as a researcher. It has also been reported that, 'sharing detailed research data is associated with increased citation rate’ for published articles. At Figshare, we’ve taken note of the growling argument around the moral and ethical responsibilities of sharing research data, and have built a platform to help researchers get credit for making their research available.

An ever-growing list of why researchers should practice open science is listed on Quora. Similarly, the Digital Curation Centre (DCC) makes the case for research data management in their briefing paper to help managers in research institutions build support for developing new services for research data management.

Furthermore, making your research results (data) available allows you to:

  • Trust your own data and allow others to do the same by giving them the resources to check and verify your published work
  • Tailor the way you use Figshare to suit your needs, such as using the free private storage to simply manage your data and share private links with reviewers.
  • Use Figshare seamlessly integrates with other tools such as Github and so figshare can be used to make the data persistent. Therefore, you own your data and you control how it is shared - we give you full autonomy.
  • Showcase your data with slides and posters that are easy to share and download or quick to view within the figshare browser.
  • Securely store and back up data and metadata using a robust, reliable cloud based infrastructure (in Figshare’s case, AWS S3). With many funders now making it a requirement to keep your data, Figshare provides a safe environment to do so.

To read how others have used Figshare we created a collection of Figshare case studies for different disciplines and guides to help you get started!

What can I upload, share and get credit for through Figshare?

Anything academic. You can upload all of your research outputs to Figshare. When you make your research outputs publicly available, you can choose the type of research that you are sharing. The current 'types' are figures, datasets, media (including video), code, papers (including pre-prints), a thesis, posters, presentations and filesets (groups of files). Figshare previews over 1,200 file type extensions in the browser (some examples of file viewers can be seen here) and a full list of supported extensions available.

When you publish on Figshare your data is stamped with a DOI to help you track the attention, potential impact (citations, references, etc.), and reach of your research.

What is a DOI?

DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier and is a type of persistent identifier (PID), for more information about PIDs read our blog post. As the name suggests these are persistent and so provide a permanent link to your research.

Figshare are a DataCite node and so items published on Figshare are issued with DataCite DOIs.

In order to meet with DataCite metadata requirements, Figshare requires users to add the following information before making files public and citable: Title, author list (ordered), categories (set ontology), tags (free text) and a description with as much context as needed to interpret the files. Users can also add links to external sources. Institutional clients can define additional custom metadata when implementing Figshare. Importantly, the DOI cannot be deleted but the item can be modified post-publication, triggering a new version.

Can uploading my research onto figshare be considered as pre-publication?

If your research is publicly funded then you may in fact be obliged to make all of your data available as terms of your grant. You must cite other people who have contributed to figures where necessary. Most publishers (>90% including all major publishers) do not consider sharing your research outputs on online platforms as prior publication.

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