Answered By: Thomas King Last Updated: Dec 12, 2018 Views: 8
Depending on the nature of your data, researchers, students, governments, NGOs or businesses might find your data useful. Students in particular from seeing what data in your field looks like, even if their data is on a different but related field of study.
Sharing data openly means that everyone can access your data, but does not necessarily mean that everyone will have the required subject knowledge or scientific literacy to understand it. It is a reasonable assumption that in most instances, the audience most likely to be using your data are those sufficiently familiar with the subject to be able to understand academic writing and disciplinary jargon, or who have the necessary skills to be able to pick them up quickly. The core of making your data accessible to these audiences is to ensure to write rich descriptions and provide sufficient keywords, preferably using a controlled metadata vocabulary if you have one.
If you're interested in making your data accessible to a non-academic audience, you may want to consider a more active and engaged communications strategy, such as developing a social media engagement strategy, publishing articles in popular science magazines or newsletters, or engaging in the UCT Summer and Winter School programmes or similar events.