UBC Researchers & Data-Storage “In The Cloud”

Perhaps you have heard about Faculty of 1000Open data & Cloud computing?

You might want to hear about Figshare.

“…Figshare is the brainchild of Mark Hahnel, who realised that a large amount of data generated during the course of his PhD would never get published as it did not show any significant difference. He also realised that redoing expensive research experiments and duplicating data could be drastically reduced by simply sharing this already generated data by putting it up in a proper format in a searchable database…” Singh, 2011
Figshare is a newly-relaunched web-based repository designed to enable researchers to share their research outputs in an easily citable, sharable and discoverable manner. Its platform is easy to use and aims to help researchers get credit for all their research (both positive & negative results), while moving knowledge forward. Figshare is supported by Digital Science, a sister company of Nature.

Figshare is a form of cloud computing enabling researchers to publish datasets, tables, videos, figures and other knowledge objects. All file formats are uploadable including multimedia, video and data, and information typically moved to the backs of papers in appendices or supplemental sections. Up to 1GB of data can be stored privately for free, and users have unlimited space for publicly available research.

Scientists and researchers can publish null results on Figshare, avoiding the file drawer effect while helping to make scientific research more available for the peer review process. Figshare uses Creative Commons to allow research data-sharing, while allowing researchers to choose when they want their data made public. Scientists are concerned about unfettered openness. As Professor Peter Murray-Rust of Cambridge says, “the primary purpose of publication for most academics is self-advancement”. Yet the notion of being secretive in scholarly work and scientific research is slowly breaking down.

Finally, Figshare focuses on giving users credit for all of their research; with increasing evidence for open access and its role in increasing impact, this is imperative. By using traditional impact measures (i.e. number of citations) with altmetrics, Figshare provides more depth, realtime measurements and a host of other benefits.

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