Seeking start-ups

Let’s collaborate to make data “open by default”
Published in Research Data

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Hello from Amsterdam. I’m here for Europe's leading tech festival, The Next Web Conference to find start-ups who want to collaborate with Springer Nature in our goal to make good research data practice and data sharing the norm.

This afternoon we will host a group of start-ups who have answered our challenge:

How can we help researchers get more from their experimental research data, through faster, easier routes of discovery, organisation or sharing of data?

We're committed to exploring collaborations including pilot projects and the co-creation of new products. We’re not looking for one overall “winner”, we hope that this will be the beginning of several beautiful friendships and fruitful collaborations.

At the same time, we are issuing a wider call for start-ups and organisations with smart ideas and great technology to work with us – some may come from research, some from other sectors who can bring new approaches to solving this challenge. We’re looking for fresh ideas and innovative thinking, expertise that is complementary to Springer Nature’s, and a shared passion for helping the research data community unlock the potential of research data.

In 2017 only about half of research data were shared (according to surveys of researchers) and a much smaller proportion were shared openly or in ways that maximise discoverability and reuse.

Even when research data are shared, they aren’t necessarily easy to find, search, visualise or use.

We know quite a lot about what’s stopping researchers from sharing: fundamentally, lack of time and lack of knowledge about how to organise their data and where to share it. Researchers are intelligent, responsible, motivated people. They are also time-poor, and do not necessarily want to become data or licensing experts. So they need clear information, simple policies and advice. They also understandably prioritise advancing their field, their own research, and building their careers. So they need tools and faster easier ways to share data that fit with their workflow, and credit and incentives to make good research data practice and open data worthwhile.

When it comes to using data, researchers also face challenges. Discovering data sets in the first place, understanding and analysis, drawing connections between datasets, finding serendipitous insights.

We hope that today’s challenge will help us find partners so together we can offer researchers faster easier ways to share data that fit with their workflow, and tools to help discover, visualise and analyse data.

If you're interested in working with us, please get in touch with me or our research data team - you can reach us here on the community or at

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