Researcher Guide on Sharing Study Data


IES has released a guide to help researchers who, to support open science, are making decisions about how to safely and appropriately share study data. This includes deciding which study data to share, how to organize the data, what documentation to include, and where to share their final dataset. Making data open is one of the Standards for Excellence in Education (SEER) that IES Director Mark Schneider identifies as essential to making research transformational.

The guide offers researchers tips to address common challenges in sharing study data, such as how to balance privacy with transparency, along with concrete steps to take throughout the research process. Key principles include:

  • The goal of data sharing is to produce something of value for science and ultimately, for the improvement of education.
  • Focusing on sharing a well-organized and well-documented dataset can improve the organization and efficiency of the original study team.
  • Researchers should commit to sharing some data or code to facilitate additional analysis.
  • There is no single approach to sharing study data, and tradeoffs may be necessary.

The guide also provides links to other resources, a checklist, templates, and sample materials.

View the guide by clicking here.

This guide is one of a series that helps researchers implement SEER to improve the quality and relevance of their education studies. A guide on generalizability was recently released, and another guide on how to report more interpretable impact findings is forthcoming and will be announced on

The Institute of Education Sciences, a part of the U.S. Department of Education, is the nation's leading source for rigorous, independent education research, evaluation, statistics, and assessment.

Resource Type