The greatest discoveries in science and academia have come about as a result of great collaborations. figshare's main ethos from day one has been to help researchers of all fields by offering a better way to store, discover and share their data, whilst also getting the credit they deserve. By leveraging new technology and doing without the obsolete processes that developed in science and research over the years, we've been able to make that very easy to do as well. We were set up with the idea that all academics should have a place where they can make their research outputs openly available, under the most liberal creative commons licenses, for free. This is still the core ethos of figshare.
But now it was time to turn our attention to this another important aspect of research - Research data management. More specifically: Collaboration.
For the last year or so we developed and tested our new collaborative spaces extensively to make sure they are as useful to humanities researchers as they are to the life sciences. You can now share research outputs privately and securely with your collaborators. You can also add notes or comments to keep track of progress, protocols and ideas as you would with your lab book. Feedback from researchers has already shown that these spaces can be used for collaborations, PIs to track their academic’s outputs, sharing research paper collections and many more ideas that we wouldn’t have thought of ourselves.
A lot of figshare users use the platform to manage their research outputs privately in the cloud. We appreciate that it is not just about simply open or closed, but about control. Thus we are extending the controls researchers have over their files stored on figshare. This means that now using figshare, any academic, for free can:
Share their research outputs privately, with a selected number of other researchers.
So if you haven’t signed up to figshare, do so now. If you have a figshare account you are ready to collaborate. When you log in you will notice two new areas next to \"My data\": Projects and Activity. The Projects tab allows you to create collaborative spaces and control who else has access to these spaces. You can just type in their name and add them to the space if they already have an account, or put in their email address so that they get a notification alerting them that they have been invited to collaborate. The activity stream allows researchers to keep track of who has viewed, commented, added notes to, or uploaded files to a collaborative space - adding a layer of transparency to collaborations. Users can also receive email notifications when this happens, if they so choose.
One collaborative space (or project) is already available to all for free. In order to maintain our sustainability model, additional private storage space and private collaborative spaces will be available to users or research groups for a monthly or annual subscription fee.
Talking about collaboration, these advances have come about at the request of academics from all fields around the globe. We love feedback, so please share your comments and opinions on this new feature at firstname.lastname@example.org or via twitter, facebook or google+.