Dissemination and Preservation

The importance of sharing data

In the last decade, it has become increasingly common for researchers to make their data available to others when they complete a study. This is usually referred to as data sharing or data publishing. Data sharing is growing mostly due to recent data policies from journals and funders. So, why share?


  • Be compliant with research funding organizations that require data management plans and data accessibility
  • Be compliant with journals that require submission of supporting data files to accompany manuscripts
  • Be compliant with Harvard's policies, including the DUA Policy and Research Data Security Policy. 

Research benefits:

  • Find your own data years after you finish a project
  • Enable others to replicate your work
  • Enable others to conduct new analyses using your data


  • Data citation is becoming a standard across publishers, and standardized data repositories generate a data citation when you deposit your data. Thus, sharing your data in a repository results in credit for your work.

Open Access at Harvard

Harvard has an open-access repository, DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard), which welcomes scholarly work from all Harvard affiliates. Harvard has a fund to pay article processing charges (APCs) for Harvard scholars who choose to publish in APC-based OA journals. All Harvard schools have OA policies, adopted by faculty votes between 2008 and 2014. In fact, Harvard was the first university in the US to adopt an OA policy. It was the first in the world to adopt an OA policy by faculty vote rather than administrative edict, and first in the world to retain the rights needed to authorize OA. Most recently Harvard adopted a voluntary individual OA license to give non-faculty the same rights-retention benefits that the school-level policies give faculty. All these initiatives are coordinated by the Office for Scholarly Communication (OSC). For more detail, contact the OSC, browse the OSC web site, or read its overview of Harvard's OA policies and DASH.