Who/what/when/where/why is figshare?

figshare allows researchers to publish all of their data in a citable, searchable and sharable manner. All data is persistently stored online under the most liberal Creative Commons licence, waiving copyright where possible. This allows scientists to access and share the information from anywhere in the world with minimal friction.

The site offers upload times of mere seconds for all file formats, providing a citable, searchable endpoint for researchers. figshare offers unlimited storage space for data that is made publicly available on the site, and 1GB of free storage space for users looking for a secure, private area to store their research. Users of the site maintain full control over the management of their research whilst benefiting from global access, version control and secure backups in the cloud.

figshare was started by a frustrated Imperial College PhD student as a way to disseminate all research outputs and not just static images through traditional academic publishing. It is now supported by Digital Science, a Macmillan Publishers company.

Is the research I put on figshare citable/Do I get a DOI?

All research made publicly available of figshare gets allocated a DataCite DOI at point of publication. This means that your research can be cited using traditional citation methods, no matter what form the research output come in.

To cite any content on figshare you need to copy and paste the text that is under the displayed file, below the title 'cite this'.

You can also export the citation to Endnote, RefMan and Mendeley by clicking the links under 'Export' in the side panel of every page.

All objects on figshare have an associated DOI. You should include this whenever you are referring to research outputs on figshare as this ensures that the link to the item persists.

What license is my research released under?

All figures, media, poster, papers and multiple file uploads (filesets) are published under a CC-BY license.

All datasets are published under CC0.

You can read more about the reasoning behind this here.

How secure is my research?

All uploads that are privately stored can only be accessed by the user who uploaded it, when they are logged in.

figshare is hosted using Amazon Web Services to ensure the highest level of security and stability for your research data. Amazon S3 stores multiple, redundant copies of your information so you don’t have to worry about ever losing your master copy. AWS utilizes an end-to-end approach to secure and harden our infrastructure, including physical, operational, and software measures. Amazon S3 provides authentication mechanisms to ensure that data is kept secure from unauthorised access.

The security and persistence of your files on figshare makes it easy to prevent plagiarism of your research data, as all uploads are time-stamped.

How persistent is my research?

figshare and the CLOCKSS Archive have partnered to preserve figshare's publically available content in CLOCKSS's geographically and geopolitically distributed network of redundant archive nodes, located at 12 major research libraries around the world. This action provides for content to be freely available to everyone after a "trigger event" and ensures an author's work will be maximally accessible and useful over time. You can read more about this here.

Am I allowed to share my research on figshare, is this considered pre-publication?

If your research is publicly funded then you may in fact be obliged to make all of your data available as terms of your grant. You must cite other people who have contributed to figures where necessary.

Most publishers (>90% including all major publishers) do not consider sharing your research outputs on online platforms as prior publication. F1000Research did some research on this subject and the journal policies can be seen here.

Why should I share my research on figshare?

As well as moral and ethical obligations, putting all of your research data on figshare can help promote your research and raise your profile. It has also been reported that 'sharing detailed research data is associated with increased citation rate'. An ever-growing list of why researchers should practice open science is listed on Quora here. The DCC makes the case for research data management here.

You can upload any filetype to figshare and we aim to make as many of them as possible, viewable in the browser.

What can I upload, share and get credit for through figshare?

Anything. You can upload all of your research outputs to figshare. When you make your research outputs publicly available, you can choose the type of research that you are sharing. The current 'types' are figures, datasets, media (including video), papers (including pre-prints), posters and filesets (groups of files).

How do I upload my research?

First you need to register an account. Upon login, you are taken the 'My Data' section of your profile. You can upload data here by clicking on 'Upload new'. Alternatively you can click navigate to the upload page, through which you can drag and drop files, or simply navigate your file-system to find the files you wish to upload.

Can I edit my research after upload?

Yes, figshare supports version control of all publicly available data, and any privately stored data can also be altered or deleted as you wish.

Can I use other people’s research?

Yes, under the terms of the license you can use any research on figshare provided it is appropriately cited.

Some of my research is already on figshare, how did this happen and can I add it to my profile?

In order to make figshare a useful tool for researchers, we are taking research objects from open access publications in order to seed the database. This adds value to your previously published research by making the individual figures more discoverable, driving more traffic to your publications as well as making all of the figures citable.

You can claim these article by clicking the 'claim this' button. All claimed articles and their associated metrics will be added to your profile.

How do I contact figshare?

You can contact us via twitter @figshare, or email directly at info@figshare.com. We will endeavour to respond to your queries within 24 hours.

How is figshare funded?

figshare is an independent body that receives support from Digital Science. "Digital Science's relationship with figshare represents the first of its kind in the company's history: a community based, open science project that will retain its autonomy whilst receiving support from the division."

You can read more about this in the press release here.


We appreciate all your comments, questions, suggestions or gratitude.


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