There’s an increasing drive in the scientific community to do more with the data that comes out of research. As funding bodies and governments begin to mandate that all research outcomes must be made available, researchers are looking for ways to publish their data, share it, and make it available for other researchers. The new Mendeley Data repository is designed to help them do exactly that.
“If you think about it, the output from scientific research hasn’t changed in the last 500 years or so,” said Joe Shell, Head of Research Data Management at Mendeley, “It’s always been about the research article, the meta of the experiment if you will, and takes the form of ‘we asked this question, here’s the answer’. What we want to do is enable researchers to show their working, and most importantly get credit for that.”
The platform allows researchers to upload the raw data from their research, and give it a unique identifier (a versioned DOI), making that research citable (please see our FAQs to find out what a DOI is, and how this works in Mendeley Data). For partnering journal websites (so far ScienceDirect, Cellpress, and others in future), the article links to the research dataset on Mendeley Data, enabling readers to quickly drill down from a research article to the underlying data; while the dataset also links to the article.
Researchers can also “privately” share their unpublished data with collaborators, and make available multiple versions of the data relating to a single research project, creating an evolving body of data. As science increasingly moves towards longitudinal studies, which involve repeated observations of the same variables over long periods of time, this will be invaluable.
Mendeley Data has been developed in close collaboration with the research community, to ensure it addresses their needs. “Since we kicked off the project we’ve been having a few users come in every week to test it out,” Joe said. “We’re getting really good feedback on usability”. The Mendeley Data team has been working closely with Mendeley Advisors, and other scientists and publishers to ensure the product serves their needs.
In line with that, and the Mendeley ethos, Mendeley Data is a free service and datasets are licenced under a choice of open licences. Research datasets are permanently archived with DANS (Data Archive and Networking Services) based in the Netherlands. Further, all the features of the web App will be available via a publicly available API (Application Programming Interface) enabling other Apps to build on top of, and interface with, the research data repository. The API will be released in the next few weeks, and you can find out about it first by following the Mendeley API on Twitter.
We’re also proud to announce that Mendeley Data will be collaborating with the Hivebench Electronic Lab Notebook, in the aim of helping researchers to capture and archive data from their experiments, as they collect it in the lab, providing a truly end to end data management solution. This integration is a great example of how one can use the Mendeley Data API.
Do you collect, share or consume research data? We want to make something that serves your needs – we would be delighted to hear your feedback and ideas for Mendeley Data! Please follow the feedback button on the bottom of the Mendeley Data page, comment on this blog or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.