A better credit for scientific research
Technology solutions in the education and research space are growing in a massive way. The data that comes out, as well as from established R&D divisions, institutions, and university research, has been historically siloed. There’s a global push occurring, however, from government and industry to open up academic research data, and one start-up plans to provide that access.
Figshare started as a solution to founder Mark Hahnel’s own research needs. While studying for a PhD in stem cell biology at Imperial, Mark needed a simple way to showcase data sets and videos. Hahnel built Figshare to serve as such a digital repository, and has ended up disrupting the entire scholarly publishing system.
Users of Figshare gain access to a platform to store their research outputs in shareable and discoverable forms. Each individual file is given a unique identifier – a DOI – that can be cited in published articles and journals, ensuring that it remains a trusted link for accountable reference. These files are all visible in-browser, without the need for plugins – making them accessible to everybody. Formats can be anything, from documents and presentations, to software code, to image, video and audio files.
Hahnel made Figshare a free service supported by paid options. So far, over 1.5 million files are hosted securely for hundreds of thousands of researchers. Each of these are using Figshare to manage their research, and choose who to share it with. They’re looking to replace the traditional PDF academic delivery system with a flexible, managed service, opening up their data in a communicable democratic process.
Figshare helps individuals, academic institutions and partner organisations alike with their data management. Everything is integrated with existing systems, and they’re always on the lookout to further open data and user engagement. Check out the website for more.
Image 'The molecule' courtesy of Alan Bloom.
Last updated: 09th of October, 2015