Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Recently I have started using figshare to share some figures I've created a while back and that perhaps otherwise would have never seen the light of day. I am certainly not the only one having stuff in the drawer because we never got to finish a manuscript or get to a few more experiments. Another phenomenon playing into this is also widespread and has been named the file drawer effect. Many studies in a given area of research may have been conducted but never reported, because we all have the tendency to not publish negative or inconclusive results. 

There is an open source solution to this available and it doesn't cost you anything aside from a couple of minutes to upload your data. figshare allows researchers to publish research outputs in an easily citable, sharable and discoverable manner. All file formats can be published, including videos and datasets. There is no peer review process, and researchers are actually encouraged to publish null results, avoiding the file drawer effect. figshare uses creative commons licensing and provides you with a DOI and a QR code for every file you've uploaded. Categories and tagging support easy access as well

I have just started using it and I really like this way of sharing results openly. Not only is it a home for all the used (of course the ones published should be up as well) and unused figures but also a great resource when it comes to preparing lectures, courses, and talks. There are some great resources for teachers out there but not as many for university educators.

And most importantly it is real open access. In case you haven't heard of figshare, please check it out and start sharing.

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