This document highlights some of the ways you can integrate your Figshare repository into institutional workflows — and promote Figshare at your institution — in order to get the most out of the system. Feel free to incorporate any of these into your engagement plan (like this one).
Developing a connection with the Grants Office or Research Office can help you understand who has a need for storing and sharing research outputs as part of a grant.
Even better, make sure that storing and sharing research outputs are included in DMPs or during the grant application process. This will help researchers know what they’re going to do with outputs before they’re ready to share them.
You could also include references on your webpages to certain funder requirements around making funded research openly available and how your Figshare repository helps them comply with this.
Make sure user guides and documentation for what is appropriate for submission into the repository are available in the places researchers normally go for guidance. This could be intranet pages or pages on the library website on data management. Some examples of documentation are available below:
Documentation for uploading outputs with thorough, FAIR metadata can also help ensure outputs are submitted with complete documentation without having to liaise with the researcher to improve it.
Sometimes researchers need buy-in from institution leaders in order to see value. Some institutions have had leadership present at launch events or write blog posts about the importance of storing and sharing research outputs. This example from De Montfort University includes a video from the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research explaining the significance of Figshare at the university.
You could also include a message from leadership on your support website like the University of Adelaide has done.
To showcase the work that’s been done over a period of time, consider developing a briefing or year in review document like this one from the University of Leicester or this one from University College London.
If your institution has a regular newsletter or virtual bulletin board, consider adding a regular column about the repository. This could include top viewed items (statistics are always engaging!), FAQs, case studies, or example data. Feel free to reuse content sent in the Figshare monthly newsletter or get in touch for content ideas.
Most departments and/or projects have regular meetings that you may be able to attend for 5-10 minutes at the beginning or end to give an elevator pitch for using your Figshare repository for storing and sharing their research. This is a good opportunity to show subject-specific examples or use cases. Check out these example items or this collection of case studies for inspiration.
This can be a time-consuming method for engaging but it’s the most effective. Some institutions offer 30-minute meetings with researchers or project groups to walk them through the process of uploading and ensuring they’re using the system in the best way possible for their needs. These can sometimes lead to advocates you can use to create a champions/advisors group and who can use word-of-mouth to promote the repository.
Some institutions have created a champions or advisors group to help promote the repository using word-of-mouth or using these champions in case studies or at events held by the research office. Some examples of these groups are:
Check out these tips for setting up a group at your institution.
People like to see examples of what their colleagues have done or what a particular project has used Figshare for. High-profile or well-connected researchers are particularly valuable for engagement as they can help spread the word and researchers value their opinion. If you’d like any assistance with writing case studies or creating documentation for these use cases, please get in touch.
Case studies are great to be able to show prospective users what your repository could be use for. Either draw on our existing collection of case studies or write your own (we can help you with this!). If you don’t yet have any case studies, you could write example use cases. The University of Adelaide has done this on their support webpages.
If you already have some great examples of well-documented research outputs in your repository, use these to show prospective users. La Trobe University created a collection of good examples in their repository that they use when promoting it to new users.
Historically-published items can also be uploaded retrospectively onto Figshare. You can even edit the publication date to make it in line with the original publication date. Check out this example from Hong Kong University.
There are lots of different use cases for Figshare, some of which your institution might not have considered and might need a home for. Check out these use cases for some inspiration.