Why should you publish your research data?
In addition to publishing standard scientific articles containing an interpretation and discussion of research results, it is also possible to publish the raw research data in stand-alone form.
- Transparency, visibility, and comprehensibility of your research are enhanced.
- Citability of data can increase your citation rate and your reputation.
- Your data are safely stored, easy to find and use.
- Collecting data is work- and cost-intensive. Therefore, sharing for re-use is always worth considering.
How can you publish your research data?
There are different options for publishing research data. Consider what is most common in your community.
What is a data paper?
A data paper describes one or more data sets. It informs the reader about the methods of data collection, quality and limitations of data as well as possibilities for re-use. The data set itself is usually stored in an online archive, and the location is given in the paper.
How can I publish a data paper?
Many journals publish data paper following a peer-review process. Most of them are open access. Very few journals contain only data papers. Most journals publish data papers alongside other types of articles. Candela et al. (2015) compiled a list of Data Journals.
What is a repository?
A repository is an online archive for data deposition and storage. Institutional repositories provide access to publications of an institution whereas disciplinary repositories contain publications of a particular subject area. Furthermore, there are interdisciplinary repositories, which accept various kinds of research output from all disciplines. The Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data) (www.re3data.org) lists more than 1500 repositories for research data.
The institutional repository of the Technical University of Munich is mediaTUM (www.mediatum.ub.tum.de), where you can publish articles and research data.
- Different formats: You can upload data sets, images, audio and video files and software linked to a descriptive metadata set.
- Access: You decide about access privileges, set an embargo period, and grant a license for your data.
- Persistent Identifier: Assign a DOI to your data to make them citable.
The TUM Research Service Centre supports you on all your questions around publishing on mediaTUM.
Content of disciplinary repositories is focused on a particular subject area. The Open Access Directory provides a list of all disciplinary repositories categorized by subject area.
How do I choose the right publishing platform?
Whatever is most common in your scientific community would be your first choice. When choosing a repository, consider:
- autonomy and reliability of the provider
- option for assigning a persistent identifier
- rights management and option for granting a license
The Registry of Research Data Repositories (re3data) uses its own evaluation system for the registered repositories, summarized in Pampel et al., 2013:
Figure: Aspects of a Research Data Repository with the corresponding icons used in re3data.org. Source: Pampel H. et al. (2013) Making Research Data Repositories Visible: The re3data.org Registry. PLoS ONE 8(11): http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0078080. This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY.