It’s exciting times at Team figshare. For the past 4 years we’ve been working hard to revolutionise the world of research data and coming very soon is the biggest update in figshare’s history. It’s significantly enhanced with many new features and will facilitate our ambitions for growing figshare for the future. Here’s a brief summary of some of the features that will be launching by the end of 2015. We have a lot of new features and improvements coming that are not on this list, we have to keep some surprises for you!
Improved free accounts
From our inception, figshare has strived to engender a strong sustainability model that would allow us to continue to improve our free offering. With our continued successes, alongside file sizes and research outputs increasing year on year, we’re going to be removing our premium accounts leaving only one tier of account and improving that account to the following specifications:
Up to 5gb single file uploads, improved from 250mb
20gb of private space, improved from 1gb
10 collaborative spaces, improved from 1
Control over when, how and if you make your data public is an important theme running over a lot of the new features launching.
Our new embargo functionality allows a significant degree of flexibility. The image to the right is the thumbnail that will appear in the figshare browse page, giving you an “at-a-glance” view of when the file will become available. This is for a figshare article that has a file-level embargo, exposing the metadata, title and author of the article immediately with file automatically becoming available when the user set embargo expires. You will have a number of preset embargo periods to choose from, alongside the ability to manually specify a date of your choosing in the future. You can even given a reason as to why the file is embargoed should you wish, or you can use this space to provided contact details or external URLs. These articles can still be cited as any other figshare article.
If you don’t wish to create any form of public metadata available at all, we’ll be giving you the option to embargo the whole article, file and metadata. You’ll prepare your file and metadata to publication standard and then select to embargo the whole item:
The item will then remain in My Data until the embargo period expires and the item will published with no further intervention from you.
Sometimes you may not be able to, or indeed want to, make your files publicly available but you still have a need to have a publicly accessible reference article.
To meet this need, we’ve developed confidential files functionality.
To the left you’ll see an image of a confidential file thumbnail which will display on the figshare browse page.
When making a file confidential, you’ll be able to include a reason, should you wish, that will display on the public metadata page. You can see how this will look to the right.
There could be any number of reasons why you don’t want to upload your files to figshare, so we’ve created linked file functionality. To the left, you’ll see the thumbnail you’ll see when browsing. When creating an article, you’ll mark this as a linked file and the file upload section will be removed and replaced by a section that will allow you to input the publicly available download link for the file the article relates to.
Metadata-only records are the simplest type of new articles available. No linked files, no embargos, no confidential files, simply add the mandatory minimum metadata and publish, giving you a citable & persistent home for your metadata record.
Collections are my personal favourite new feature. You can see an example collection here. The principle of a collection is that you can group together any publicly available figshare item, regardless of who the author is, and create a new collection that you can apply your own metadata and context to and create a new, citable research output in its own right. There’s lots of different ways we can see this being used, and I’m sure some that we can’t!
Improved public profile
We’ve a bigger, brighter new public profile to help you show off your research in the best possible light. Have a look at an example below:
You will now be able to add funding data to your research. This is an area where we’ll be continually improving throughout 2016.
Authorship improvements (work on behalf of others)
A common feature request, you’ll now have the ability to remove yourself as an author whilst adding other authors. You’ll still retain ownership of the data, but these public articles will not appear on your public profile and you will not appear as an author.
File visualisation is such an important part of the figshare experience, we wanted to take this opportunity to make your data look as great as possible. We’ve improved many aspects of our viewers and we’ll be showing them off in a video soon.
We’ve increased the thumbnail size of articles to give you more information before deciding to dig in further. You will also see dynamically updating live tiles for items with embargos, counting down to the time when those files will be live.
Improved file uploads
Our upload system has been improved dramatically and we’ll have a more technical seperate blog post at a later date. As a summary, here are the key improvements:
In-browser uploads of up to 5TB
Resumable uploads, with files broken down into parts
Parallel multipart uploads
Integrity checks (checksum comparison)
New and improved user interface
We’ve given the whole of figshare a new and improved look and feel, taking on board a lot of your thoughts and recommendations over the last 4 years.
Introduction of FoR codes
As the use of figshare has continued to grow and spread, more disciplines have embraced the need to make their research data publicly available. Our initial focussed list of research areas now needs to be expanded to match this need. To do this, we will be adopting the category structure of Fields of Research (FoR) codes. We’ll be expanding our current list and will be migrating to the full list in early 2016.
A very popular feature request has been the ability to directly cite versions of a figshare article by using versioned DOIs. This will be in place shortly, with the current DOI structure being maintained:
If a figshare has more than one version, the following DOIs will be created:
When more than 1 version exists, the original DOI will still apply and will always take the user to the latest version.
We’ve a brand new notifications centre to help better manage your workflows and as a home for all the great new features we’ll be introducing in 2016!
There’s a wealth of new discoverability enhancements that will take the focus of a separate blog post to come, along with each of these features each receiving their own spotlight in the coming weeks but we thought you’d appreciate an overview of what’s coming.
As always, feedback, comments, suggestions and ideas are welcomed. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or via twitter, facebook or google+.