Sharing your research data

If applicable, describing how your research data will be shared is an important component of planning for data management

Why share research data?

Whether you are depositing your research data into an archive or repository, publishing your data alongside a journal article submission, or securing funding from a research-funding institution, there are benefits beyond fulfilling research funding or publication requirements.

Some benefits of sharing

Improve research quality and impact, by encouraging a higher level of research transparency, inviting external validation and development of research methods, and broadening evaluation of findings by a wider audience. 

Contribute to the public good, by facilitating evidence-based policy decisions, limiting redundant data collection, and improving research efficiency for a higher return on investment for publicly-funded projects.

Increase your chances of being cited, getting more credit for your research contributions, and greater impact in your field.

Sharing data responsibly

Publish data

Publishing research data often means accompanying published research (such as a research article in an academic journal), but there are other options, including open data repositories.

Ethics and data

Established ethical guidelines address data security, confidentiality, and other ethical and legal considerations.  

Citing data

Citation facilitates the discovery, reuse, and verification of research data, and provides proper recognition to the data creator or author. Citing data accurately is an essential part of any research project.

Citations provide information to help readers of your work locate the data sources you used. They also provide a way for you to credit other researchers and authors for their original ideas or work.

No standardized citation format exists for citing research data. However, in general, it is a good idea to include some key details about the data source, including: creator/author, date created, title, publisher, and identifier (such as a digital object identifier, or DOI).

DataCite, an organization that provides DOIs for research data, recommends a fairly simple citation style for citing data that is similar to APA format: 

  • Creator (PublicationYear). Title. Version. Publisher. ResourceType [optional]. Identifier [e.g. DOI]

For additional guidance for citing datasets, refer to the guide for citing Statistics Canada data or the guide for citing geospatial data

Most online data repositories automatically generate a preferred citation format for their datasets or digital objects, and display this alongside the dataset.