Open data

Last reviewed 
14 December 2015

Making data available after a research study is complete helps to ensure the widest public benefit, allowing other researchers and the public to scrutinise the information, and encourages its re-use.

Additional issues to consider when making data available include ensuring that:

  • Patient confidentiality is protected and that data is published with their consent
  • The data sets and methodology are accessible in a useable format for researchers
  • The originating researchers have time to analyse the data before making it publicly available
  • That data sets linked to negative results are also published
  • That secondary analyses of data refer to the publication where the data were first analysed, and are linked to the original data
Quality and standards 
  • Many medical research charities ask researchers to outline data management and sharing plans when they apply for funding