Where do you want to share?

Given the fact that you are reading this blog, I am assuming you are into sharing your code and data. However, what is not so clear to me, is where we should be sharing these data (assuming data includes code, which people often seem to forget).

  • On our own personal web page? Seems like an excellent place to me, but too many of those personal sites are extremely short-lived. I notice this every time I update links.
  • On our institution’s publication pages? That would probably be my preferred choice at this moment. Often with a longer life-span than personal webpages, and still “close enough to yourself”. Some issues arise with people working at a company (but then, are you often allowed to share code/data in such a situation?), or with people moving from one institution to another, but those all seem fairly limited compared to some of the alternatives.
  • On the publisher’s web pages? That would make it consistent with the related publication. However, I’m not sure I want to transfer ownership of my code and data to the publisher as well.
  • On “social media” such as ResearchGate, or Academia.edu? At first I was enthusiast about these, but I start having my doubts. Who is behind these sites? How are they counting on making money, based on my data? Now that some of those start spamming me with e-mail, and asking me whether I have questions for the authors of a paper I downloaded, I become even more skeptical.
  • Any other suggestions?

Maybe I am too critical about this, or too old-fashioned. Or just too commercially oriented, and not open enough to share with everyone potentially interested in my work. Who will tell?

3 thoughts on “Where do you want to share?

  1. Daniel

    What about using purl.org – maybe even an account managed by an ind ependent party supporting RR? This does not save you updating the links, of course.

  2. Claire Bird

    I use my personal website for this. It gives most flexibility. Often I use Gist or Figshare and link it to my page. I found that Academia.edu requires you to log-in to download papers etc., not really in the spirit of sharing coding (although I understand they have more control that downloads are likely to be legitimate when requiring a log-in).

    With regard to your point that personal sites are too short-lived, use your own, don’t keep it at the institute’s address.

    Institutional repositories might be ideal (over sites like GitHub or Figshare), but they generally are quite difficult to navigate. Hence having a personal page to link to the code is still needed.

  3. Thomas Arildsen

    All in all, I think I favour our own institutions’ repository; exactly as you say – reasonably persistent and reasonably “close to you”.
    There are also more data-oriented alternatives to ResearchGate and Academia.edu that you mention. For example, there is figshare.com. This site seems to be getting quite popular recently. One nice detail about this platform is that it assigns DOIs to the uploaded material – a convenient and persistent identifier for referring to the data. A possible drawback of the platform is that any uploaded material is licensed as CC-BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), meaning that anyone can basically do anythin they like with the data as long as they attribute you as the originator.
    Another such repository is http://datadryad.org/. AFAIK, this is not an open repository that lets anyone upload anything (like figshare). Rather, it requires an accompanying paper to be published somewhere and allows depositing the data that accompanies the paper. This platform also assigns DOIs to the data, but I do not know about their licensing practice.


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