UW Research

Data Sharing

Related to, but distinct from, general dissemination of research results are professional norms and sponsor requirements to share data generated from the research. It is expected that data from research conducted at an academic institution will be made available to the scientific community upon request or via a publicly-accessible web site. It should be noted that data are usually considered to be owned by the University, but the Principal Investigator (PI) of the project may determine when the data may be shared, considering the timing of scientific publications, patent filings, sponsor requirements, and other factors related to ongoing research in the lab. During all activities involving the handling of data, data privacy and security requirements should be fulfilled and best practices followed.


  • The Principal Investigator (PI) is responsible for authorizing access to data and for assuring that legitimate data access requests are addressed.
  • Research staff may assist with preparing data for sharing and with fulfilling data access requests, under the direction of the PI.
  • Data privacy and security are ultimately the responsibility of the PI, who also authorizes access to members of the research team, as appropriate.
  • All members of the research team handling data are responsible for observing data privacy and security requirements and best practices.


  • Once data have been validated, prepare data sets that are, or can be, digitized for inspection by others.
  • Special considerations should be made for data that cannot be adequately digitized for use by others.
  • Respond to requests for access to data from scientists and others, as resources allow.