Our portfolio company, Figshare, has today launched its annual report The State of Open Data 2019, to coincide with global celebrations around Open Access Week. The report is the fourth in the series and includes survey results and a collection of articles from global industry experts, as well as a foreword from Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost (UCL Library Services).

The State of Open Data is now the longest running longitudinal study on the subject, which was created in 2016 to examine attitudes and experiences of researchers working with open data – sharing it, reusing it, and redistributing it. 

This year’s survey received a record number of survey participants with around 8,500 responses from the research community. While most trends are encouraging around the adoption and acceptance of open data, the research community is now demanding more enforcement of the mandates that have been adopted by many governments, funders, publishers and institutions around the world. 


Key findings include:

  • 79% of 2019 respondents were supportive overall of a national mandate for making primary research openly available
  • 67% of respondents think that funders should withhold funding from, or penalise in other ways, researchers who do not share their data if the funder has mandated that they do so 
  • 69% of respondents think that funders should make the sharing of research data part of their requirements for awarding grants
  • 36% of respondents expressed the concern that their data may be misused if it was shared
  • 42% of researchers would be encouraged to share their data if it resulted in a co-authorship

Mark Hahnel, CEO and Founder, Figshare, said: “We’re really proud to release the fourth in the series of the State of Open Data reports. A big thanks to all the research community who made it the largest survey to date. 

“It’s encouraging to see the important trends around the adoption of open data moving in the right direction. The onus now appears to be on funders and government to enforce the mandates they have implemented over recent years. There is still a big gap when it comes to recognising data in tenure and review, so there is also pressure on institutions to consider a variety of outputs and metrics when rewarding their staff.”