Springer Nature and Figshare announce pilot to improve data sharing

Springer Nature and Figshare have launched a free pilot to better support authors in making their data openly available. Authors submitting to a number of Nature research journals and Academic Journals will now be able to easily opt into data sharing, via Figshare, as part of one integrated submission process.

The availability of data is central to open science and integral to the reproducibility of research and therefore the advancement of knowledge. Research on the impact of data sharing shows that when data is openly available, articles receive over 25% more citations. However, despite the positive impact of sharing data and willingness from authors, less than 40% actually make their data available. Reasons for this include a lack of understanding, difficulties in how to deposit data, convoluted processes, or challenges around correctly linking data and articles.

This pilot builds on a longstanding commitment from Springer Nature to open data – including automatic deposition of supplementary Information for BMC and SpringerOpen journals, enhanced curation support for authors and integration at our flagship data journal Scientific Data. 

Speaking of the pilot, Meredith LeMasurier, Vice President Journals, Fully OA Portfolio commented:

“Open Data has an essential role in increasing the credibility of research – validating data so that researchers can trust it, and combating scientific misinformation so that wider society can trust it. Yet there are still some barriers and hesitations around both the development and adoption of open data and open research solutions. 

“Integrating data sharing more seamlessly into an author’s submission workflow removes the challenge faced by many authors of having to find a suitable repository, registering and linking data – all admin heavy tasks. It supports straightforward and simple guidance, drives best practice, improves data sharing and creates a better foundation for reader engagement. We are incredibly proud to be collaborating further with Figshare to help develop standards, tools and services to better support sustainable open research, and therefore open science practice.“

The pilot will initially include Nature research journals and Academic Journals portfolios, across the fields of neuroscience, ecology and evolution, chemistry, energy, cancer and transplantation. Working closely with researchers throughout, the pilot will explore and test out more integrated ways for data sharing.

“It’s inspiring to see incremental leaps in the Nature Research and Academic Journals team. The fact that hard work is going into making life easier for researchers, as well as moving towards sustainable, open research data is massively encouraging”, said Mark Hahnel, Figshare CEO.