SPARC Projects

SPARC Research Data Sharing Policy Initiative

Open Data


The entire research community is increasingly focused on improving the accessibility and utility of digital research outputs—including articles, data, and software. Public and private research funders recognize that providing fast, barrier-free access to research outputs has the potential to maximize returns on their research investments.

Research funders are currently developing research data sharing policies and acknowledge that the process will be, by necessity, an iterative one. It will require significant input and collaboration from the wider community – including researchers, higher education institutions, commercial ventures, and other stakeholders.

The SPARC Research Data Sharing Policy Initiative is developing a channel for productive, ongoing collaboration among funders and stakeholders to shape academy friendly research data sharing policies for research data across and between disciplines as they are being developed and ultimately, implemented.

If you have any suggestions or feedback on SPARC’s Data Sharing Policy Initiative, please contact us at shawn@sparcopen.org.

Data Sharing Initiative Resources

Key Funder Research Data Sharing Policies Under Development

One aim of this initiative to help the SPARC community develop a clear understanding of the research data sharing policies that are currently under development in a key set of research funding organizations.  The initiative is currently monitoring the policies being developed at a key set of U.S. federal agencies and a selection of private funding organizations.

View data sharing policies from leading research funders

The initiative will also review emerging funder research data policies to surface key commonalities and areas of divergence within these policies, and identify areas for productive engagement with funders.

Data Sharing Policy Principles

Another key aim of the initiative is to identify the generally-agreed upon principles that can be used as a baseline and benchmark for the development and implementation of academy-friendly data sharing policies and practices.  An initial set of such principles are available here:

Bermuda Principles
G8 Open Data Charter
OECD Principles and Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding
Panton Principles
Project Open Data
RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy

External Resources

DMPToolthe Data Management Plan Tool provides detailed guidance and links to general and institutional resources and walks researchers through the process of generating a comprehensive plan tailored to specific data management plan requirements.

What is Open Data? A resource from the Open Data Institute explaining Open Data and its benefits.

Research Data Sharing Policy Harmonization

On October 7, 2015, a group of research funders, publishers and organizations attended a meeting convened by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) to discuss how their respective policies around sharing research outputs, specifically research data, could be made more aware of and interoperable between each other. The result of this convening was a statement signed by on 15 global organizations committing to three actions, that if implemented could help promote open science. Here is the text of the statement.

SPARC Research Data Sharing Policy Initiative Advisory Group

Given that research data sharing policies will be less homogenous than those that have emerged for articles. There are significant practical and cultural differences that exist across disciplines that must be acknowledged, respected and reflected for data sharing policies to be effective. To help ensure that these considerations are kept at the forefront, we’ve assembled an initial Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from diverse stakeholder communities and disciplines to provide critical guidance and input on this initiative.

Current Advisory Committee Members include:

  • George Alter, Director, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)
  • Dr. Kelvin K. Droegemeier, Vice-President for Research and School of Meteorology, University of Oklahoma and former Member of the National Science Board
  • Gregg Gordon, President, Social Science Research Network (SSRN)
  • Daniel L. Goroff, Program Director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • Geneva Henry, University Librarian, George Washington University
  • Guillaume Kroll, Program Manager, Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS)
  • Kathleen Shearer, Executive Director, Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR)
  • Temina Maddon, Executive Director Center for Effective Global Action, University of California Berkeley
  • Mary Marlino, Director, National Center for Atmospheric Research Library
  • Victoria Stodden, Associate Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  • George Strawn, Director, Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD)

SPARC staff responsible for this initiative include Heather Joseph, Greg Tananbaum, and Shawn Daugherty along with ARL’s Prudence Adler.

Learn more about our work