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Sharing your research

Information to aid decisions on data sharing

La Trobe University policy on data sharing

As of 2019, data for all research outputs funded by the ARC or NHMRC must be shared by default (unless it is sensitive) on the university's open repository, OPAL, or equivalent platform.

  • Metadata within 3 months in all cases (description of dataset contents e.g. size, fields, creation date)
  • Full data within 12 months.
    • In cases where the full dataset is sensitive, a de-identified version of the dataset should be shared.
    • If the dataset cannot be safely or effectively de-identified, only the metadata need be shared.

1. ARC policy

2. NHMRC policy

Benefits of data sharing

Benefits to you :

  • Research has linked data sharing with increased citation counts [1].
  • Sharing your data adds value to your research paper, can be used to verify and support your findings, and can make your research paper more attractive to read [2-5].
  • Sharing your data can expand your audience and increase the likelihood of cross-disciplinary interest and citations, especially if your data is presented in visual form so that it can be more easily interpreted by a lay-person.
  • Depositing your data in a data repository will add another access point so others can find your research more easily. Metadata attributed to your data will also provide further points of access to your research.
  • Some funding agencies already require you to make your data available before accepting your grant proposal. This requirement is likely to be increasingly adopted by other funding agencies in the future. Sharing your data increases the likelihood that your future research grant proposals will be successful.

Benefits to the university :

  • Data that attracts community interest can be used to promote the University.
  • The University’s citation counts are also likely to increase if researchers make their data available to the research community and wider public.

Benefits to the community :

  • By sharing your data, it makes it easier for other researchers to replicate your findings and explore new paths of knowledge related to your original research. This is especially true if you make your data available for re-use.
  • All research builds upon previous research to benefit the community as a whole, including: researchers, students, practitioners, lawmakers, and journalists.
  • The Australian Code for Responsible Conduct of Research encourages you to make your data available to other researchers.

1. Drachen, T.M., Ellegaard, O., Larsen, A.V. and Dorch, S.B.F., 2016. Sharing data increases citations. LIBER Quarterly, 26(2), pp.67–82. DOI:

2. Piwowar, H. A. & Vision, T. J. Data reuse and the open data citation advantage. PeerJ (2013) doi:10.7717/peerj.175.v

3. Colavizza, G., Hrynaszkiewicz, I., Staden, I., Whitaker, K. & McGillivray, B. The citation advantage of linking publications to research data. ArXiv (2019).

4. Drachen, T. M., Ellegaard, O., Larsen, A. V. & Dorch, S. B. F. Sharing data increases citations. Lib. Q. (2016) doi:10.18352/lq.10149.

5. Dorch, B. F., Drachen, T. M. & Ellegaard, O. The data sharing advantage in astrophysics. in Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union (2015).doi:10.1017/S1743921316002696.

Open access has the benefits of: Access for the public, practitioners can apply your findings, higher citation rates, your research can influence policy, more exposure for your work, access for researchers in developing countries, taxpayers get value for money, and compliance with grant rules

Image used with permission from the Karolinska Institutet University Library 

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