FigShare: Abbildungen und Daten teilen

Originalbeitrag CC-BY aus dem FigShare-Blog:

Google doesn’t work as well for finding science as it does for finding pizza, and that’s a shame. John Wilbanks.

We aim to change this. Today sees the release of FigShare alpha to the world!

What is it?

We are a scientific figure/data sharing platform for researchers around the world. Our aim is to get all researchers to:


Scientific publishing as it stands is an inefficient way to do science on a global scale. A lot of time and money is being wasted by groups around the world duplicating research that has already been carried out. We are a data sharing platform where you can add figures that would otherwise go unpublished – complete with the raw data tables. In doing this, other researchers will not duplicate the work, but instead may publish with your previously wasted figure. Thus making research more efficient and releasing hidden, raw data.


FigShare allows you to share all of your data, negative results and unpublished figures. FigShare also allows you to tag your data, making it more searchable and allows you to search all other data.

Either using the search and upload boxes on the homepage:

By browsing the categories in the sidebar on the right (most need filling). Or by going directly to the database main page and searching and uploading from there.

So what do these uploaded figures look like?

What we are looking for right now?

Testers: We are asking that you upload 5 of your unpublished figures, and invite 5 of your colleagues to do the same. Any problems you come accross, let us know here.

What needs doing?

Assess the functionality/ease of use: If this sounds a bit confusing to you. Please try it. We will not be mad if you wreck the place, we want you to. If you get stuck or confused at any stage, let us know here. Suggest changes. What don’t you like?

Populate the databases, not just with the figures but with tags. Once somebody has added an individual ‘tag’ or ‘author’, nobody else will ever have to do this. Look at the tags you added to your figures. Are any of them red? If so, go to the ‘tag form’ and create the tag, usually with the description, “Figures tagged with “. For more details on how to do this, see instructions here.

Have you added multiple authors to a figure? Are any of them red? If so, go to the ‘authors form’ and add their details, saving time and immediately creating a page of all the figures that have been authored by said author. For more details on how to do this, see instructions here.

Why it’s so cool!

The databases are built on a semantic mediawiki platform. This means that the databases will:

Allow others to find your data and prevent other groups from repeating experiments.

You can update your data. Have you repeated an experiment, which you cannot publish again? Every figure you upload, you can edit. This isnt just for adding data. If you mess up, you can fix it. If you need to delete something, or even un-delete it, you can!

The site automatically remembers your details, and everyone elses. So once a piece of linking information has been added once. eg. a name, address, or tag. The database remembers it and autocompletes the upload form for you. So when you’ve uploaded your first figure, everything gets a lot quicker!

The data links to other data. In order to do science efficiently, we need to make use of the tools that exist already. To quote…we have better tools for linking our photos right now than we have for our data.

Allows people to provide the RAW DATA. Why do we not get this in journals?

Future Possibilities:

If the science community begins using the platform, the potential for linking data is huge. When we say share all of your data, we don’t just mean the negative and unpublished data – We mean all of your data.

As demonstrated very elegantly by Mendeley (a great bit of software that allows you to upload all of your publications and share them with the world, thus giving all scientists and researchers around the globe access to science). As stated above “why do we not publish RAW DATA?“. A second database for published data will be set up once all the tweaks and bugs are ironed out of the system.

Why would you re-publish your data?

How hard is it to find a specific figure hidden away in a journal? How hard is it to find 10 figures on the same subject from different papers? By uploading all of your previously published figures, this data can be found by searching for a few keywords, or ‘tags’.

This will not take long. If you have published the figures, they are ready to go, no preparation needed. Just throw in the raw data.

Exporting data in an RDF format. This is how data would be published if it scientific publishing were invented today. This is not something you need to worry about as a researcher, just be safe in the knowledge that we can make your data go a lot further.

If you have any thoughts, comments or would like to get involved. Please contact us via the links in the ‘contact us’ section on the right.

I will also be attending #scio11 so if you would like to discuss FigShare in person, just come and find me!