Government agencies (such as the NSF and NIH) often include data sharing policies as part of their grant funding conditions. Before getting underway with research, understanding these conditions can ultimately save time and stress in the long run. Developing a Data Management Plan in advance can help keep things in line with grant requirements.
|"Investigators are expected to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of work under NSF grants. Grantees are expected to encourage and facilitate such sharing." [more from NSF]|
"Data sharing is essential for expedited translation of research results into knowledge, products and procedures to improve human health.
The Final NIH Statement on Sharing Research Data was published in the NIH Guide on February 26, 2003. This is an extension of NIH policy on sharing research resources, and reaffirms NIH support for the concept of data sharing. The new policy becomes effective with the October 1, 2003 receipt date for applications or proposals to NIH." [more from NIH]
A DOI, or Digital Object Identifier, is a persistent identifier composed of a variety of numbers, letters, and symbols, which can be attached to an 'object.' The objects can be an online article, document, and even a dataset. Adding a DOI to you dataset will help your reader locate it more easily. Think of it as a social security number attached with your dataset.
For material you'd like to have a DOI assigned to, you must use a service offered by a DOI Registration Agency (RA). RAs collect metadata, assign DOI names, and offer other services such as reference linking or metadata lookup. See the list of RAs, and contact the ones whose services best meet your needs. If you do not see an appropriate application listed, consider approaching an existing RA or developing a community to build the service you require (see the DOI Handbook, 8 Registration Agencies, for more information). You do not need to be a member of the International DOI Foundation in order to work with an RA.
For datasets. the Figshare, Zenodo, and Dryad repositories will provide DOI for works that include datasets. In addition, there may be domain-specific repository providing a DOI for datasets. The journal Scientific Data maintains a good list of repositories you can look at.