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On 30 May, Maria Heijne, director of the UvA/HvA Library, welcomed ca 40 colleagues from Dutch universities in the UvA/HvA Library for an information session on the implementation of ‘figshare for institutions’ at UvA and AUAS. Figshare is a platform for storing, sharing and publishing research data.

meeting Figshare at UB
photo Monique Kooijmans

Mark Hahnel, founder and CEO of figshare, explained in his presentation that figshare came into being when he was still working as a researcher. He did not just want to share his articles, but also other research products such as videos, posters and presentations. Since he could find nothing that met his own needs, he founded figshare. By now, the company has grown impressively, but its goal is still the same: to offer facilities for managing and disseminating research data.

The coordinator for RDM support at the UvA/HvA Library, Mariëtte van Selm, related that at UvA and HvA there was no system where researchers could store, share, publish and archive their research data securely. After putting out a European tender, the Library chose to acquire figshare for institutions.


Figshare Marck Hahnel
Mark Hahnel, foto Monique Kooijmans

Very user-friendly

Its user-friendliness was an important factor in selecting figshare. This was confirmed by Dušan Barok, a researcher at UvA. His international research group needed a platform to store and share data for the NACCA project. Independently of the UvA/HvA Library, Barok also came up with figshare after a benchmark study.

A small Library/ICT project team was responsible for the implementation. During the whole process, the team members were in close touch with figshare. There were also regular consultations with contact persons from all faculties on the functionality and design of the figshare environment. Mariëtte van Selm emphasised how important it had been to involve the contact persons in these decisions, so as to be able to match the wishes of the users.

Linking Figshare to PURE

In May 2017, the first research groups started to work with UvA/HvA figshare. The full rollout is planned for the second half of September 2017. After that, figshare will be linked to PURE, so that research data which are published via figshare will automatically be registered in PURE as a research result.

Frank Heere from SURFsara, the collaborative organisation for ICT in Dutch education and research, indicated that in talks between SURFsara and figshare it became clear that it is possible to link storage space from SURFsara to figshare for institutions. This would make it easier for universities to implement figshare for institutions. Soon, they will gauge the demand for it.

More information

Hahnel, Mark (2017): How figshare for institutions came to be, what it is now and what it will become. figshare.

M. van Selm, (2017): How a Library acquires an RDM system, or: implementing figshare for institutions in Amsterdam. figshare.

Dušan Barok, (2017): research data platform: user study, benchmark study and experience so far. figshare.


More information on RDM and managing research data