As described on Google OS, you can upload documents directly to Google Docs from the web.
This works for documents (.doc/.txt/.html/.rtf/.odt), spreadsheets (.xls/.csv/.ods), presentations (.ppt) and PDF files.Here's a bookmarklet:
Upload to Google Docs
In theory, a journal publishing data sets could easily construct a link or button that would upload a data set directly to Google Docs for further interaction.
On a related note, iTrail has solved the problem of how to get GPS trails off an iPhone: export them to Google Docs! If Google Docs adds support and actions ('Show on a Google Map', for example) for more specific file types, such as .gpx, it'll make an excellent online file storage service.