Data sharing is an important component of the research process. There are many gradations of data sharing. Data sharing can encompass everything from informally allowing a colleague access to your data, to adding metadata and a description of your data to a disciplinary data repository, to publishing your data. The previous examples only scratch the surface of the possibilities.
If you are composing a data management plan, it is wise to broach the subject of data sharing, regardless of whether at this particular moment you plan to share your data. Data sharing involves consideration of legality, ethics, and preservation--and thus, is a subject worth ample deliberation, early on in your research project.
The benefits of data sharing outweigh the negatives. The benefits of data sharing are bestowed on numerous actors within the research environment.
Benefits for researchers:
Benefits for research participants:
Benefits for institutions:
Benefits for the public:
Thanks to Managing and Sharing Research Data by Corti, et al.