Sharing and Publishing Data

Why Publish Your Data?

  • Constructing Access Permissions
    Your research group should consider the permissions you wish to use for making data available under your Data Management Plan. There are a number of important factors to consider and there may be constraints or specific rules on sharing that a particular repository, granting agency or other distributor enforces with respect to what you can and cannot require in making your project's data available through them. More Information on Constructing Access Permissions
  • Intellectual Property & Copyright for Data

    As a researcher, your intellectual work is your primary asset. Understanding and maintaining your rights are fundamental methods to support a sustainable system of scholarly communication. Data Management Plan requirements do not change how intellectual property has been handled under federal awards. Universities will still be able to obtain title to patents conceived or reduced to practice under the award. Your Data Management Plan will need to articulate how you are providing permissions/licenses to the data and this may or may not involve intellectual property rights depending on the type of data.

    Generally speaking, under US copyright law, data are considered "facts" and therefore not copyrightable. Where the data is in the form of software, copyright may apply and you should contact the University's Office of Research Commercialization for further information and guidance. In some European jurisdictions, however, datasets may be covered by specific database rights. Many academic scientists believe in the importance of scientific data to be shared openly. Both Science Commons and the The Panton Principles for Open Data strongly recommend that data be contributed to the public domain.

    Questions about intellectual property or copyright? Contact Will Cross, Director of our Open Knowledge Center.

  • Data Repositories
    The NC State University Libraries is an Institutional Member of the Dryad Digital Repository, a platform that makes research data discoverable, freely reusable, and citable. Dryad provides a general-purpose home for a wide diversity of data types. It also integrates with Zenodo, a general use repository hosted at CERN that has been paving the way in software citation and publishing. This means you can deposit your dataset into the Dryad Digital Repository along with associated code, scripts, and software packages, which will be sent directly to Zenodo. Our institutional membership means that you can deposit datasets and associated code, scripts, and software packages in any discipline into Dryad and Zenodo at no cost. Dryad also works with many journals to integrate article submission with data submission. Other general data repositories, as well as disciplinary data repositories, can also be good options for sharing data. Depositing in a data repository will help you meet the FAIR Guiding Principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable). Many federal funders and scientific journals are committed to FAIR for both scientific integrity purposes and to encourage research innovation. More Information on Data Repositories
  • Citing Data
    Citing data is important in order to give the data producer appropriate credit, allow easier access to the data for re-purposing or re-use, and to enable readers to verify your results.

    How Do I Cite Data?

    Properly citing data has many benefits:
    • Provides proper attribution and credit
    • Connects publications to supporting data
    • Makes it easier to find data
    • Supports reuse
    • Increases transparency and reproducibility


    Forming a data citation is very similar to forming a traditional publication citation. The following should be included in your citation:
    • Creator(s) or contributor(s)
    • Publication year — the date when the dataset was published or released (not the collection or coverage date)
    • Title of the data set
    • Publisher — the data center or repository Persistent identifier (such as a DOI)
    • Version number or edition, if applicable


    Some data publishers and repositories provide a suggested citation format with specific additional information (e.g. resource type, retrieval data, funder/sponsor). They may also request citation of related publication(s) along with the data. Be sure to review publisher and repository citation style guides carefully.

    More Information on Citing Data:


    Adapted from Data Citation by Cornell University.
  • Foreign Influence
    Since 2018, members of Congress and federal agencies have raised serious concerns that some foreign entities are attempting to exploit the open nature of the research-and-development environment at U.S. universities. A website (requires a unity login) has been created to provide the most current information on this topic, as well as guidance for ensuring continued compliance. NC State staff in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation (ORI), the Office of Sponsored Programs and Regulatory Compliance (SPARCS), and the Office of General Counsel (OGC), who are familiar with the evolving regulations and policies governing research oversight, are available to help you understand and comply with the obligations that govern research conduct.