Tips on managing and sharing data

It’s worth asking yourself whether you, your colleagues and collaborators are managing your data in such a way that you can maximise its re-use in the future. Regardless of whether you are working in an academic or a commercial environment, enabling the reuse of your data is becoming a central part of professional practice.

If you are submitting data then are a few simple steps that you can take to make the process smoother:

  • Start early – begin collecting data and metadata at the beginning of your experiment
  • Consider creating a data management plan, using tools such as DMPonline and the Data stewardship wizard
  • Identify the correct database (see ‘Where do I submit my data?‘ on the next page)
  • Speak to the curators who work with that database – check what you need to submit!
  • Learn about the metadata requirements and data standards used in your field. You can look these up on
  • Use an ontology to annotate the data, for example the Experimental Factor ontology.

To learn more about data management, try our online tutorial Bringing data to life: data management for the biomolecular sciences. There are several excellent papers to get you started sharing and managing data (3-5). A wealth of information about open access, open science and open data is available from the FOSTER training portal.

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