This post has been written by Liz Stovold, Research Data Support Manager and Information Specialist, Cochrane Airways.
What is Figshare?
Figshare provides the infrastructure for the St George’s Research Data Repository. The repository facilitates the discovery, storage, citing and sharing of research data produced at St George’s. It is possible to store and share a range of research outputs in the repository including datasets, posters, presentations, reports, figures, and data management plans. Each item that is published via the repository receives a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) which makes it easy to cite, share and promote your work.
What is a collection?
One of the features of Figshare is the ability to create a citable collection of individual related items. You can choose to publish a collection publicly, or opt to keep it private. Collections can be added to over time and republished as they are updated with new items. There are several advantages to using collections, such as the ability to group themed research outputs together in one place, and to showcase a portfolio of work.
Here at SGUL, Cochrane Airways – a research group based in the Population Health Research Institute – decided to create a collection of the posters and presentations that they have produced over a number of years. A Figshare collection enables the Group to showcase and cite their research dissemination activities and share with funders and other stakeholders. It also provides them with one place to store these outputs instead of saving them across a variety of shared and personal drives.
What is a ‘project’?
A Figshare ‘project’ also enables researchers to group together related items, but it differs from a collection in that it allows multiple collaborators to contribute and to add notes and comments. You can choose to make your project public or keep it private. The project itself doesn’t have a DOI, but the items within a project can do. A project can contain a mix of publicly available data and private data visible only to the project collaborators.
Cochrane Airways are piloting a Figshare project to store, share and publish reports and other documents that have been produced as part of their priority setting work. A project hosted on Figshare allows them to collate the output of their ongoing work, share documents within their group, and publish documents with a DOI as and when needed.
Could a collection or project in Figshare be useful for you or your team? Contact the SGUL RDM Service at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your needs, or see SGUL Research Data Management for more general information and guidance.