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Will the data management system “protect” my data from outside researchers until I have fully utilized for my purposes (i.e. prevent “poaching” of data by competitors), after which it may be made accessible to outside parties?

Elena.Feinstein's picture
Many institutional and disciplinary repositories allow embargo periods, during which your data is preserved but not yet made publicly available. It's wise to go ahead and deposit the data as soon as you have a coherent, complete data set, even if you will be using an embargo, in order to protect the files from loss and since you'll be in a better position to document and describe it closer to the time of collection and any cleaning or processing you may have done. Individual repositories will have their own policies about embargo period duration, and you should refer to funder or journal requirements for maximum allowable delays in making your data public. Many researchers find that the benefits of open data sharing, in increased citations and co-authorship opportunities, outweigh the potential for getting scooped, which is quite rare. See Piwowar and Vision (2013), for discussion of these advantages.