Research data are increasingly considered as a valuable research output, equivalent to journal articles and monographs. For information on publishing research outputs please see the University of Salford Institutional Repository (USIR).

Publishing research data enables you to:

  • build up your academic reputation (making data openly available facilitates discovery and reuse)
  • meet funder requirements
  • enable data validation and facilitate scientific progress
  • increase opportunities for collaboration
  • avoid duplication
  • increase the return on public investments in scientific research.

There are also valid reasons for restricting access to research data:

  • because the data is patentable
  • to allow an embargo period - so researchers have exclusive use of the data - and time to exploit the results
  • to protect confidentiality
  • other ethical and legal considerations.

Research data about people, including sensitive data, can be shared ethically and legally if strategies such as informed consent and anonymisation are used.

The University of Salford data repository is Figshare. Figshare is an open access repository for research data and non-traditional research outputs, such as figures, datasets, images, and videos. All file types are supported. Using Figshare enables research data to be discoverable, reusable and citable, through the creation of a DOI with each deposit. Long term storage is covered by Arkivum, an archiving tool which works behind the scenes to ensure long term accessibility and integrity of research data. Support and guidance including how-to guides and FAQs are provided on Figshare's knowledge portal.

You can also connect your ORCID ID to your Figshare profile.

Licensing Data

Licensing is essential for clarifying what users may or may not do to the research data.

You must choose a licence or legal agreement when depositing data in a repository. Licences are granted by the Intellectual Property holder of the data, which should be determined when planning the research project. Some of the most common licences for research data are by the Creative Commons.

Information about different licences for research data are available from the DCC and Jisc.

DCC How to license research data.

Jisc Licensing open data – a practical guide.

EUDAT have created a Licence Selector Tool to help you choose an appropriate licence.

    Data Access Statements

    A data access statement (DAS):

    • Describes where data is made available (generally a data repository)
    • Includes a persistent identifier (e.g. a DOI, an accession number, or a link to the permanent record)
    • Information on any restrictions or conditions for data access with a justifiable explanation

    Justifiable explanations may involve ethical, legal, or commercial factors.

    A DAS is required within a publication by many funders and scientific journals and is mandated in the UKRI Common Principles on Data Policy.



    Data are openly available in a repository

    “Data supporting this study are openly available from (NAME OF REPOSITORY) at (DOI, ACCESSION NUMBER OR URL)”

    Data are available in a repository, but subject to an embargo

    “Data supporting this study will be available from (NAME OF REPOSITORY) at (DOI, ACCESSION NUMBER OR URL) following a 6-month embargo”

    Data are available in a repository, but access is restricted due to legal, ethical or commercial reasons

    “Data supporting this study are available from (NAME OF REPOSITORY) at (DOI, ACCESSION NUMBER OR URL). Access to the data is subject to approval and a data sharing agreement due to (GIVE REASONS WHY ACCESS TO THE DATA IS RESTRICTED)”

    Secondary analysis of third party data subject to restrictions

    “This study used third party data made available under licence that the author does not have permission to share. Requests to access the data should be directed to (THIRD PARTY) at (URL/CONTACT DETAILS)”

    Data available as supplementary information

    “Data supporting this study are included within the article and/or supporting materials”

    Data are available on request only due to ethical, legal or commercial reasons*

    “Data supporting this study are not publicly available due to (GIVE REASONS WHY DATA ARE NOT PUBLIC). Please contact”

    Data cannot be shared due to ethical, legal, or commercial restrictions**

    “Data supporting this study cannot be made available due to (GIVE REASONS WHY THE DATA CANNOT BE SHARED)”

    No new data generated or analysed

    “No new data were generated or analysed during this study”

    *A simple direction to contact the author may not be considered acceptable by some funders and publishers. The EPSRC have made this explicit. If you must use this direction, consider setting up a shared email address for your research group or use an existing departmental address.

    ** Under some circumstances (e.g. participants did not agree for their data to be shared) it may be appropriate to explain that the data are not available at all. In this case, researchers must give clear and justified reasons.

    If you are uncertain what to write in your DAS, please contact

    Citing data

    Published research data may be referred to or re-used as the basis for further research and must be correctly cited. Data citation should be viewed as part of good research practice. Further information on how to cite data is available from the DCC.

    A dataset citation includes common components seen in any other citation:

    • author
    • title
    • year of publication
    • publisher (for data this is often the archive where it is housed)
    • edition or version
    • access information (a URL or other persistent identifier such as a DOI)