Guidance on data sharing for current and new doctoral candidates

All doctoral candidates who started their PhD at TU Delft on or after 1 January 2019, are required to publish all research data and code supporting the results described in their PhD thesis in 4TU.Centre for Research Data (or another suitable data archive) before graduating.

All doctoral candidates who started earlier than in January 2019, are strongly encouraged to publish their research data.

Why do I need to share my research data?

As a doctoral candidate at TU Delft you are bound by the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Academic Practice. The Code requires that research data needed to validate scientific findings are available. In addition, making data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable (FAIR) is also a requirement of the TU Delft Research Data Framework Policy.

But, most importantly, sharing your data has plenty of benefits.

Benefits of Data Sharing

Sharing your research data helps moving human knowledge forward. Others, instead of re-inventing the wheel and repeating your research, can simply re-use and cite your data (and you are more likely to gain new collaborators).

Sharing your data also makes all your findings more reproducible and transparent. In addition, your thesis (and any research papers resulting from your data) will be more convincing (also to your examiners and reviewers).

Finally, there are multiple (selfish!) benefits of data sharing. Sharing your data with 4TU.Centre for Research Data helps maximise visibility and impact. All research data that is published in the data archive receive a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). This identifier defines a persistent link so that the research data can be cited by others. Published data deposits are also visible to search engines, such as Google.

And finally, in the future you will be always able to find and access all your data files - no more searching through multiple hard drives or thinking ‘where did I put it’... Most likely you will be the first re-user of your own data.

To summarise, by sharing your data you:

  • Get the deserved credit for all your hard work => you can add the DOI to your data in your CV for your next job application
  • Make your research findings more reproducible and trustworthy
  • Allow others re-use your data, build up on your findings and create more opportunities for collaboration
  • Increase your visibility and impact
  • Can easily find your own data files, years after graduation

Want to know more about maximising visibility and impact of your data? Have a look at the dedicated course Sharing your Research With the World or read the excellent blog post published by Nature.

What do I need to do now?

Wherever you are on your PhD journey, remember to manage your data properly. Managing your data properly will save you a lot of time at the end of your PhD, when you need to gather all your files to prepare them for upload to the data archive.

TU Delft Library prepared a comprehensive website with guidance on research data management throughout the research lifecycle:

And if you need any support with data management, there is a dedicated Data Steward at your faculty, who will be happy to help you.