It is now widely accepted that sharing research data can benefit both the public and the research community. Whilst it's true that most researchers think about sharing their data because their funders require it, there are other good reasons to share, not all of them altruistic.
- Increase research impact - those who make use of your data and cite it in their own research will help to increase your impact within your field and beyond it. Users of your data may include those in other disciplines, sectors, and countries
- There is evidence that studies that make their data available receive 9%-30% more citations than those who do not (See Piowar, H. and Vision, T.J. (2013) "Data reuse and the open data citation advantage", https://peerj.com/articles/175/
- Scientific integrity - publishing your data and citing its location in published research papers can allow others to replicate, validate, or correct your results, thereby improving the scientific record
- Your own future use - by preparing your data for sharing with others, you will benefit by being able to identify, retrieve, and understand the data yourself after you have lost familiarity with it, perhaps several years hence
- Teaching purposes - your data may be ideal for students to learn how to collect and analyse similar types of data themselves
- Funding mandates - UK research councils are increasingly mandating data sharing so as to avoid duplication of effort and save costs. Check with your individual funder what their data shring requirements are. See:
- Publisher mandates - increasingly, publishers insist that underlying data be made available both to peer reviewers and upon request by subsequent readers of the article. Check with your publisher what their policy is.