Publishing and sharing data

This reading guide accompanies you in choosing the appropriate route for publishing and sharing your data.


1. Publishing and sharing data in a data repository

If you want to make your data (openly) available to the general public and make it FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable), citable and comply with funder requirements, you can consider publishing it in a public data repository. It is handy if in your chosen repository:

  • A persistent identifier is givena permanent link which points to the data, making your data findable and citable;
  • A license is given or can be chosen, creating clarity and certainty for potential users of your data.  

This is required to make your data FAIR.

In some repositories, it is possible to restrict access to the data itself. Beware, this will be an extra hurdle for potential re-users. If your data is (privacy) sensitive, it is best that you do not publish the data in a public repository. For very sensitive data, not even under restricted access. You can publish its description though. Add an explanation how, and under what circumstances, the data itself is shared. 

2. Publishing in a data journal 

Consider to publish your dataset in a peer-reviewed data journal. Data journals are publications whose primary purpose is to expose data sets. They enable you as an author to focus on the data itself, rather than producing an extensive analysis of the data which occurs in the traditional journal model. Typically, a publication in a data journal consists of an abstract, introduction, data description with methods and materials, short conclusion on reuse opportunities.

Fundamentally, data journals seek to:

  • promote scientific accreditation and reuse;
  • improve transparency of scientific methods and results;
  • support good data management practices;
  • provide an accessible and permanent route to the dataset.