Researchers are now growing used to the increase in funder and publisher policies requiring them to share their research data. As a result, one question I’ve been asked a few times, when researchers prepare to share, is: “but how will people find this data I put online?” It’s a great question so let us count the ways…
- Directly on CORD. You might find that people come across your data by simply going to CORD, our institutional repository. People who know Cranfield’s areas of expertise may specifically search our repository, whether they are internal or external to our institution. We highlight CORD to partners amongst other resources in our external communications.
- Indirectly on figshare. The CORD repository uses the figshare platform, which is also used by many other universities and publishers internationally, so a lot of researchers and potential collaborators or data reusers are already on the platform. Each organisation’s figshare has a search box that searches all figshare content, aiding discovery. You’ll also note that items on figshare must be assigned categories and keywords, and people use these to browse to discover similar content in their area of interest. So don’t forget to give your data a good title, categories, and keywords, to ensure it’s discovered by those who may reuse it!
- Via data discovery services. Our CORD repository is listed in re3data, an international registry of research data repositories. You may already use it yourself – it is a central listing of data repositories to help researchers identify appropriate sources of data for re-use. Additionally, Jisc are creating a UK research data discovery service, which CORD will also appear in, to again increase discoverability of our excellent outputs. We’ll be sure to share more news on this as the service development progresses.
- Via your publications. In most cases, data is published when it underpins published findings, and your article or conference paper will cite or link back to the underlying dataset. This is important for discoverability as readers of the publication are likely to be those interested in your dataset. Similarly, don’t forget to add a link to your publication in your dataset record on CORD, so people discovering your data can also read more about your findings – and maybe even cite both!
- Via Google. Not everyone knows to go to specific or general data discovery tools, but that’s fine, because the figshare repository is optimised for Google. As long as your dataset has a good title and other descriptive metadata, it will be found by search engines.
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