There is much to be gained
As a researcher you want your research to be as visible as possible. Research data that is documented and deposited with SND gains national and international exposure. It is described in the SND web catalogue as well as in the catalogues in the European CESSDA archives and DataCite. Via DataCite the data is also searchable in Clarivate Analytics Web of Science and may come to be used in, for instance, data citation analyses.
As a member of DataCite, SND can issue unique permanent identifiers, DOI (Digital Object Identifiers). Data material that is deposited with SND will receive a DOI in order for it to be easy to reference, find, and identify. In order for data to be published in data journals, it usually required to be accessible and have a DOI.
Depositing data with SND is a practical solution for researchers who want to avoid having to manage requests to hand out their data. Through SND you can also find statistics for how popular the data material is, if a researcher wants to make a case for the value of her/his scientific production.
It is increasingly common with requirements for making research data accessible. The EU Framework Programme for Research & Innovation Horizon 2020 has a pilot action for open research data and the Swedish Research Council requires open access to research articles that are included in reporting on grants. The future of public funding of research appears to be that funding will be granted on the prerequisite that the research data are made openly accessible.
Scientific journals are also beginning to require their authors to make the data from the analyses in their articles accessible. For instance, the PLOS (Public Library of Science) journals have a policy on data availability, and journal articles are freely available with a CC BY license. However, PLOS respect ethical and legal reasons for not making data publicly available. More information about the exceptions here.
As of December 2016, SND appears on the PLOS list of recommended repositories.
Contributing to future science
Making well-documented research data accessible contributes to research in a number of ways. Previous research materials can be re-used for new research by combining existing research materials or by complementing new data with previous data. When researchers can see what data has already been produced, they can avoid doing the same research twice and thus save funding that can be put to better use. Furthermore, accessible research data is an important resource for university methods teaching.
Finally, it is worth emphasising the value of the research materials for future generations – researchers as well as laymen. We cannot determine today which sources will be important for future historians or what may turn out to be fantastic, exciting and valuable paths into our past. The only thing we can say for sure is that today’s research data is tomorrow’s cultural heritage.