This will help you identify potential areas of friction when trying to share your data (e.g., proprietary formats, unexpected costs related to sharing), and help you think critically of the future of your data.
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“Share your data” -- these three little words belie a host of questions and processes. When you break down your own sharing into who, what, when, where, why, and how, you can answer many of the questions your intended repository or future collaborators will ask of you.
Map out the relationship of the research lifecycle to the data lifecycle. How does your data map to your research?
How might your data be used in the future? Funders are sensitive to funding studies that duplicate effort -- and articulating that your data is both novel and reusable will strengthen your proposal. Alternatively, noting that data exists elsewhere and you will be building off of existing data can demonstrate how deeply you understand the field, or how connected you are to current research.
Describing potential future uses of your work can be a useful exercise to do ahead of writing a grant. You can start to see long-term and future implications of your work.
Furthermore, you can start to determine what data you must share and curate for long-term protection and access, and what data is supplemental or ephemeral.
Identify the future uses of your data. Use our checklist to help you think about future uses of your data.
Licensing data and other products of your research helps others understand what permissions you give in re-distributing and re-using your data. Licenses reduce uncertainty and ambiguity, and tell users up front if their intended use is ok.
Note that facts are not copyrightable, so copyright laws do not apply to facts.