There's a new cloud data sharing platform available to researchers of all types. Created by a London PhD student, figshare (lowercase "f" intended) is a resource that allows researchers to share figures, datasets, null data and other research output that doesn't make its way into published manuscripts.
Probably the coolest new resource I learned about at this year's VIVO Conference, figshare provides users 1GB of private storage space, plus unlimited public uploads. figshare contains datasets, figures, posters, media and reports of null results. It contains files from many fields of research, from astronomy, physics and biological sciences to humanities. Files in the public space can be commented upon, tweeted and cited via downloads to Reference Manager, EndNote and Mendeley. figshare also provides counts of views, shares and will soon compile citation data on objects at the site.
Today's research produces so much material from supplemental figures to datasets that journal-published manuscripts often reflect only the tip of the iceberg of the volume of work done to produce publishable results. figshare provides a site to share these results with other researchers, but also provides a means of compiling non-traditional statistics on the impact of this scholarly output. When I recall all of the drawings and plots of brain sections that I created when I was a lab tech, I think a resource like figshare could have been very useful at my old labs. Materials shared on figshare stand a much better chance of reaching a wider audience of researchers than they do sitting in desk drawers or on computer hard drives.
If you have data, figures, media or other files that are not published and you want to share them, try figshare.
Biosciences & Bioinformatics Librarian
The Biosciences & Bioinformatics Blog highlights new tools and news items of interest to the biosciences research community at Northwestern University.