Where can I be published

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Advantages of data publication

The focus of the scientific research process is a raw material without which research would be unthinkable: research data. However, research data is by no means only relevant for a researcher's own work or for a working group. Therefore, they should by no means be saved on the USB stick and disappear in the drawer.

Because making data accessible enables work to be shared around the world. Researchers can take a look at relevant data and see whether they add value for their own study. The integration and re-analysis can make research results more profitable. The raw material research data is thus used more efficiently through sharing.

But meta-analyzes are also a decisive reason for more data openness. In some disciplines in which an open data culture has prevailed, significant analytical errors in established methods or tools have only been recognized for years when meta-analyzes revealed inconsistencies across many study data. These analysis errors (e.g. software bugs, incorrect standard assumptions) are not always noticeable in a single study, but can produce bias and thus incorrect results. This can be avoided through meta-analyzes.

What are the specific advantages of data publication?

  1. New collaborations can arise worldwide.
  2. Research results become more visible through the publication of data and their citation.[1]
  3. Publicly available data can stimulate new or additional hypotheses.
  4. Scientific integrity is strengthened.
  5. Sharing data promotes an open science culture.
  6. One-off data is not lost, but is available for further research.
  7. Costs are saved.

Who supports the publication of data?

Research data and publications can be archived in online repositories and published via these. Hundreds of different repositories for different subject areas have been created in recent years. Depending on the scientific discipline, the selection can be very large and confusing.

The re3data page offers an overview of internationally existing repositories as well as a search function with a large selection of search settings. Various icons provide information about the characteristics of the respective platforms. For example, you can specifically filter for repositories that offer Open Access or Restricted Access. German repositories can be found on RIsources.

Certificates for repositories

Quality criteria can make the decision for or against a repository much easier. Such certificates give the data producer the security that the data will be stored, usable and citable over the long term. Data users can rely on a minimum level of quality (data format, citability, etc.) of the data held in certified repositories. Certified repositories, archives, libraries or museums benefit from the increased visibility of their services. There are several initiatives that award seals of approval or certificates for repositories based on different criteria.


The CoreTrustSeal is a certification organization that emerged from the ICSU World Data System (ICSU-WDS) and the Data Seal of Approval (DSA). The CoreTrustSeal data repository certification replaces the DSA certification and the WDS Regular Members certification. The CoreTrustSeal is a community-based and non-profit organization and offers every interested repository a core level certification based on the DSA-WDS Core Trustworthy Data Repositories Requirements Catalog and the associated procedures. The 16 detailed guidelines are essentially based on five criteria:

  1. The data can be found on the Internet.
  2. The legal situation of the data has been clarified and these are accessible without restriction.
  3. The data is in a common format.
  4. The data are reliable.
  5. The data can be cited using persistent identifiers.
Learn more

nestor seal for trustworthy digital long-term archives

Nestor is the German competence network for long-term archiving of digital sources, which bundles and distributes the standardization efforts of all partner institutions (archives, libraries, museums).

The nestor seal comprises a total of 34 criteria that deal with legal aspects as well as questions of financing and staffing of the certified facility. The stored data are assessed on the basis of their quality, citability, legal questions of reusability and long-term storage (data formats and carriers).

Learn more

Another option is to publish the research data in data journals. These are dedicated to the description, documentation and quality control of the data. Data journals often do not require a scientific publication, but a description of the data in the form of a paper or a data curation profile. The actual data record is archived in a repository and the entry in the journal refers to the respective data record.

Publishers also offer supplements to publications. This is particularly useful if the research data is central to understanding the publication.

What should be considered when publishing data?

  • Does the repository or the data journal fit the discipline?
  • Can you tell whether the repository will remain available in the long term?
  • Does the offer meet the needs (e.g. open / restricted access)?
  • Which data formats and metadata standards are used?
  • What can the provider say about data protection and security?
  • Is copyright taken into account and is quotation mandatory?
  • Have the data transfer and data usage agreements been checked?
  • What re-use is allowed by the licenses offered?
  • Can the research data be found there by subject-specific search services?
  • For personal / sensitive data: Has the data been anonymized / pseudonymized before the upload?

Best practices for sharing data (data sharing) can also be found on the website of the UK DATA Archive, for example.

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Piwowar, H. A., Day, R. S., Fridsma, D. B. (2007). Sharing detailed research data is associated with the increased citation rate. PloS one, 2 (3), e308.

Further information

  • Incentives and motivations for sharing research data, a researcher's perspective. UK Data Archive, University of Essex
  • Managing and sharing data. UK Data Archive, University of Essex
  • DataWiz (2017): Best Practices of Data Publication. Version Draft 0.2.
  • Till Kreutzer, Henning Lahmann (2019): Legal issues in Open Science. A guide. Hamburg University Press
  • Lost or Found? Discovering Data Needed for Research. Article by Kathleen Gregory, Paul Groth, Andrea Scharnhorst, and Sally Wyatt
  • Further information on forschungsdaten.org
  • Heinz Pampel and Kirsten Elger (2021): Publication and citation of digital research data in the practical handbook for research data management
  • Levelow, Jansen, Neuendorf (2021): Acquisition of the CoreTrustSeal (CTS) certificate from a research data center in the education sector - motivation, implementation and lessons learned



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