Research Data Explored II: the Anatomy and Reception of figshare

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 as a platform for newly published research materials, and 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.