“There has been rapid growth in interest in the potential of open data in recent years, and at City, University of London, we quickly recognised that if the university was to become more research intensive, we had to provide a more proactive research data service to our researchers.
One of the steps that we took to encourage data sharing was to create an institutional data repository for non-traditional publications, using Figshare for Institutions (https://city.figshare.com). Like many other research institutions, City doesn’t have a long history of providing data support and for political and historical reasons City’s data repository sits outside the library in the research & enterprise office. I’m very much an ‘accidental data manager’, rather than a data specialist. I knew nothing about research data management two years ago, and it is only one of many responsibilities I have at the university.
Unfortunately uptake of the institutional repository was lower than anticipated. We found that researchers often have little experience of sharing data, and unlike traditional forms of publication (such as research articles and book chapters) data is not typically a priority for researchers, as it doesn’t count in the UK’s Research Excellence Framework (REF)….
By the end of the support process it had been transformed with metadata, keywords, categories, and even the title of the final record, all being added by the research data team. The hope is that easing the submission of data will encourage researchers to use the repository in the near future, while improving the quality of the metadata will encourage use in the longer term, as the improved impact of the data begins to be seen.”