SGUL Research data repository: 2020 update

The St George’s Research Data Repository is a digital archive for discovering, storing, sharing and preserving research data produced at St George’s. Other research outputs such as posters, presentations, protocols, reports and software/code can also be shared in the repository, allowing researchers to get credit for a wider range of research outputs. Every output shared receives a DOI, making it more findable and citable. 

The repository is managed by the St George’s Research Data Management Service and is powered by figshare. Figshare recently improved some of system’s functionality. In this post we’ll overview two of these changes and what they might mean for researchers: 

  1. changes to confidential data, and 
  1. linking data with their associated publications 

Changes to confidential data 

The confidential data feature is now referred to as ‘permanent embargo’. This change is retrospective and all datasets that were previously published as ‘confidential’ are now ‘under permanent embargo’. 

Screenshot showing that all datasets that were previously published as ‘confidential’ are now ‘under permanent embargo’.

This is mostly a change in name. The function works in exactly the same way as confidential data used to. Researchers can publish a description of the data they possess. The data itself is not published. Instead, we’ll provide an email address for external users to request access to the data. This feature is useful when anonymised data cannot be made publicly available, but they can be shared under controlled access conditions.   

To demonstrate how this works we can look at this dataset (shown in part below) which supports the peer-reviewed publication, “Weekend and weekday associations between the residential built environment and physical activity: findings from the ENABLE-London Study.”  

Screenshot showing an example dataset with supports a publication. The data itself is not publicly accessible, but there is a clear description of the data and a method for requesting access to it.

Where researchers will see a change is in how they apply a permanent embargo to a dataset. When uploading a dataset for publication, you will need to go to the Embargo section of the form and select ‘Permanent’ from the dropdown menu (as shown in the image below). 

Screenshot: when uploading a dataset for publication, you will need to go to the Embargo section of the form and select ‘Permanent’ from the dropdown menu (as shown in the image below).

Once this is selected, apply the embargo to the files only and then add a reason for the file being under embargo (as shown below). 

Once you have selected permanent embargo, apply the embargo to the files only and then add a reason for the file being under embargo (as shown below).

Linking data with their associated publication 

For data supporting a publication, researchers can now more prominently link the data with their associated publication. This will allow users to find the main publication related to a dataset easily, enhancing transparency and increasing the visibility of your work. This dataset shows how data and their associated publication can be linked (see image below).  

Screenshot of a dataset showing how data and their associated publication can be linked.

This information can only be added once the article is public and has a DOI.  

To do this, you will need to include the title of the published paper and the paper’s DOI in the file upload form, as shown below. 

Screenshot highlighting where you need to add the paper title and DOI.

If you do not have this information when first publishing the dataset, that’s fine. Simply leave these fields blank. You can add this information later once the paper is public – even after the dataset has been published. This will not generate a new version of the dataset. 

Our guidance 

The repository guidance on our website has been updated to reflect these changes.   

Get in touch 

If you have any questions about these changes, or you’d like to request a demo of the data repository for your research group, please email the SGUL RDM Service at researchdata@sgul.ac.uk. We’d be happy to help you.