Figshare, an online digital repository for academic researchers, today announced the next generation of its data management platform targeted at academic researchers – ranging from individuals to teams in all-sized organisations – as well as funders and publishers. Figshare is introducing significant new capabilities designed to meet the challenges in collecting and sharing data.
Next-Generation Figshare – The New Industry Standard with Improved, Free Accounts
Today’s enhancements include key new capabilities in the areas of control, discoverability and usability:
The enhancements allow control over private or commercially sensitive data including clinical trial data, whilst at the same time promoting best practices and rewarding openness.
- Embargoes – Uploads files and set to publish on a specified time/date
- Confidential files – Enables new collaboration opportunities by releasing a metadata-only record for files which are commercially or personally sensitive
- Linked files – Saves on storage costs by linking to files already stored elsewhere
The new discoverability enhancements saves researchers’ time by making it easier to collect and find content most relevant to them.
- Collections – Comparable to the popular Pinterest board, now users similarly are able to group together content in a separate, citable unit with associated metadata; includes all research outputs of a grant, the most interesting research in a particular field, or posters from a conference
- New research classification – Adopting the industry-standard Fields of Research(FoR) codes enables research to be categorised with greater accuracy
- Enhanced search – Provides new, comprehensive search engine to easily find new and relevant content and authors
- DOI Versioning – Ensures citations are linked to the correct version of a Figshare article
The new usability functionality builds on an already intuitive interface, including enhanced features and capabilities that increase the robustness and ease in making data available, while showcasing the research and authors who created the data.
- New article pages – Visualises in the browser 100’s of file viewers; the most file types of any offering
- New public profiles – Provides a new, clean-look overview of researcher outputs and collaborations
- Notifications – Enables better management of workflows providing easy prompts when action is required
“Researchers from all areas tell us they see the amount of data growing exponentially year-over-year and are faced with the challenge of storing, managing, disseminating and reproducing the large and diverse data sets being generated in today’s ever-more collaborative world,” said Mark Hahnel, Figshare CEO. “Our goal is to provide tools that enable control and reuse, while recognising that some data contains personal, ethical or commercially sensitive information that cannot be made available to the general public.”
Hahnel continued, “After nearly five years delivering a product to the marketplace, our team has worked closely with our core customers to develop this next-generation platform. From these customer discussions, we have incorporated unprecedented levels of control to promote best practice while also enabling openness, as well as enhanced features to enable users to easily collect and find their research.”
Changing Market Dynamics
In the past, researchers put together their own systems and methods to try to address these problems, each taking a different approach and resulting in few economies of scale or consistent best practices. This approach is no longer feasible.
Now, many researchers are being told by their institutions, publishers and/or funders they must have a data management plan and must make their data openly available in order to comply with changes in publisher’s policy or with funders’ mandates. Additionally, interdisciplinary research is occurring more often as scientists take on more diverse and complicated research.
The new Figshare will be available in November 2015 and will be provided free of charge to all current customers.