Data Sharing & Dissemination

Why share research data?

Sharing data reinforces open scientific inquiry, encourages diversity of analysis and opinion, promotes new research, makes possible the testing of new or alternative hypotheses and methods of analysis, supports studies on data collection methods and measurement, facilitates the education of new researchers, enables the exploration of topics not envisioned by the initial investigators, and permits the creation of new datasets when data from multiple sources are combined1.

Additionally, many funding agencies and publishers require researchers to make their data available. In most cases, funders no longer accept sharing upon request as a valid option.

How can I share my research data?

Research data can be shared and disseminated in many ways - releasing data underlying published results, sharing data openly after the award period has ended, regularly scheduled data releases, and upon request via Data Use Agreement are common practice.

When you decide to share your research data, gather information about the data sharing requirements of your funder and/or the specific funding program and the data sharing/availability requirements of the journals and publishers with which you intend to publish results. Next, discuss the following considerations with your team:

  • What data do you want or need to share? (e.g., raw data, cleaned & processed data, data underlying published results, etc.)
  • When will the data be made available? (e.g., upon publication, quarterly throughout the project, 12 months after the project period ends, etc.)
  • How will the data be disseminated? (e.g., in a specialized repository like ProtBank, in a domain repository like ICPSR, in an institutional repository like IU ScholarWorks or IUPUI DataWorks, etc.)
  • Under what conditions will users be allowed to access or use the data? (e.g., CC-BY license, terms in a Data Use Agreement, etc.)
  • How long will the data be available, if the journal is hosting the data? Consider depositing a second copy in an institutional repository to ensure long-term access.

Institutional Data Repositories

IUPUI DataWorks, our institutional data repository for open data

IUPUI Data Catalog, a registry of sensitive or controlled-access data

table comparing IUPUI DataWorks with the Data Catalog

Click on the image to download a PDF copy of it.

Disciplinary Repositories


Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)


Qualitative Data Repository (QDR)

National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) Data Archive

See the list of open domain-specific data repositories maintained by the NIH BMIC

Other NIH data resources supported by the Common Fund

General Data Repositories

Open Science Framework

DataDryad, a general data repository

Figshare, a general content repository


We are here to help you make an informed decision about how to share and disseminate your research data. For a consultation, contact Heather Coates.


Updated Dec 07, 2020 by hcoates