Research Data Explored II: the Anatomy and Reception of figshare

Peter Kraker, Elisabeth Lex, Juan Gorraiz, Christian Gumpenberger, Isabella Peters

Research output: Working paperPreprint


This is the second paper in a series of bibliometric studies of research data. In this paper, we present an analysis of figshare, one of the largest multidisciplinary repositories for research materials to date. We analysed the structure of items archived in figshare, their usage, and their reception in two altmetrics sources (PlumX and ImpactStory). We found that figshare acts (1) as a personal repository for yet unpublished materials, (2) as a platform for newly published research materials, and (3) as an archive for PLOS. Depending on the function, we found different bibliometric characteristics. Items archived from PLOS tend to be coming from the natural sciences and are often unviewed and non-downloaded. Self-archived items, however, come from a variety of disciplines and exhibit some patterns of higher usage. In the altmetrics analysis, we found that Twitter was the social media service where research data gained most attention; generally, research data published in 2014 were most popular across social media services. PlumX detects considerably more items in social media and also finds higher altmetric scores than ImpactStory.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2015

Publication series e-Print archive
PublisherCornell University Library


  • research data
  • figshare
  • citations
  • altmetrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing

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