There are several reasons to share your data:
♦ To further science as a whole
♦ To further your own research
♦ To enable new discoveries by other researchers using your data
♦ To comply with funder and/or publisher requirements
Repositories have some real advantages, especially when considering NSF requirements. Repositories can:
♦ Provide a metadata structure for you to fill in.
♦ Publish the data for you by giving your dataset a unique identifier (like a DOI).
♦ Serve as a way to backup your data and preserve it for the future.
♦ Make data sharing easier.
♦ Allow others to cite your research more often.
♦ Provide computational tools to assist people with using your data.
A domain-specific respository has some advantages too
♦ Your data will stored with similar datasets - it's a one stop shopping place
♦ Researchers will find your data easily - they are there specifically to find data in your field
♦ The repository will understand what your data needs in terms of storage, archiving and preservation - they are data specialists
♦ Computational tools may be developed to crunch a critical mass of data of a certain kind