Data sharing is the practice of making data used for scholarly research available to other investigators. Many funding agencies, institutions, and publication venues have policies regarding data sharing because transparency and openness are considered to be an important part of scientific discovery. Currently in the biomedical field, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health have implemented data sharing policies that either expect or require scientific researchers to share their data in some way.
Librarians can assist researchers at their institution with data sharing requirements by developing services for data curation and research data management planning. Librarians can also use data sharing as a platform for promoting scholarly communications practices and initiatives such as data publishing and encouraging researchers to follow data citation practices so that they can receive and give credit for published datasets.